When you were a kid you probably had no clue that turning up the volume on your music could result in health problems. You just enjoyed the music.
You had a good time when you were growing up, going to the movies and loud concerts. You could have even chosen a job where loud noise is normal. Still, you didn’t think it had any long-term impact.
You probably know differently today. Children as young as 12 can have long-term noise-induced hearing loss. But did you know that sound is so powerful that it can even be used as a weapon?
Can Sound Make You Sick?
In fact, it Can. It’s apparent to doctors and scientists alike that certain sound can make you sick. Here’s why.
How Health is Impacted by Loud Noise
The inner ear can be harmed by really loud sounds. After sound goes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by little hairs in the ears. Once these small hairs are damaged, they don’t ever heal or regenerate. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.
Over 85 dB of volume for an 8 hour period will start to cause long-term impairment. It only takes 15 minutes for long-term impairment to develop at 100 dB. At 120 dB, the volume of a rock concert, instant, irreversible impairment will occur.
Cardiovascular health can also be affected by noise. Exposure to loud noise can increase stress hormones, which can lead to High blood pressure, clogged arteries, obesity, and more. This could explain the headaches and memory issues that individuals subjected to loud noise complain about. These are directly connected to cardiovascular health.
Actually, one study confirmed that sound volumes that start to impact the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. A person speaking with a quiet indoor voice is at this volume level.
Your Health is Impacted by Some Sound Frequencies – This is How
Several years ago, diplomats in Cuba got sick when exposed to sounds. The sound in Cuba wasn’t that loud. They were able to drown it out with a tv. So how could this type of sound make people sick?
Frequency is the answer.
High frequency sounds like the one experienced in Cuba can do considerable damage at lower volumes.
Have you ever cringed when someone scratched their nails on a chalkboard? Have you ever begged a co-worker to stop as they run their fingers over a folded piece of paper? Have you ever needed to cover your ears during a violin recital?
Damage was happening to your hearing if you’ve ever experienced pain from high-pitched sound. The damage could have become permanent if you’ve exposed yourself to this kind of sound repeatedly for longer time periods.
Research has also discovered that damage can be done even if you can’t hear the sound. High-frequency sounds coming from trains, sensors, machinery, and other man-made devices could be producing frequencies that do damage with sustained exposure.
Your health can also be impacted by infrasound which is extremely low frequency sound. It can vibrate the body in such a way that the person feels nauseous and dizzy. Some even experience flashes of color and light that are common in migraine sufferers.
How You Can Safeguard Your Hearing
Know how particular sounds make you feel. If you’re feeling pain or other symptoms when you’re exposed to specific sounds, reduce your exposure. If you’re experiencing pain in your ears, you’re most likely doing damage.
In order to understand how your hearing may be changing over time, get in touch with a hearing specialist for an examination.