When you were a kid you most likely had no idea that turning up the volume on your music could result in health problems. You simply enjoyed the music.
As you got older, you may have indulged in evenings out at loud concerts or the movies. It may even be common for you to have experienced loud noise at work. Still, you didn’t think it had any lasting impact.
Now that you’re older and more mature, you probably know better. Noise-induced hearing impairment can appear in kids as young as 12. But did you realize that sound is so formidable that it can even be used as a weapon?
Can You Get Ill From Sound?
In a word, yes. It’s evident to doctors and scientists alike that specific sound can make you ill. Here’s the reason why.
How Health is Affected by Loud Noise
Very loud sounds damage the inner ear. After sound passes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by little hairs in the ears. Once these small hairs are destroyed, they don’t ever heal or regenerate. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.
Harmful volume starts at 85 decibels over an 8 hour time frame. It only takes 15 minutes for long-term impairment to develop at 100 dB. A rock concert is about 120 decibels, which causes immediate, permanent damage.
Cardiovascular health can also be impacted by noise. Obesity, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other vascular problems can be the result of increased stress hormones brought on by overly loud noise. This might explain the memory and headache issues that people subjected to loud noise complain about. Cardiovascular health is directly connected to these symptoms.
As a matter of fact, one study confirmed that sound volumes that begin to impact the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. A person talking with a quiet indoor voice is at this volume level.
Your Health is Affected by Certain Sound Frequencies – This is How
Several years ago, diplomats in Cuba got sick when exposed to sounds. This sound was not at a really high volume. They were able to drown it out with a tv. So how could this type of sound cause people to get sick?
Frequency is the answer.
High frequency sounds such as 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 been driven nuts by someone repeatedly dragging their finger across a folded piece of paper? Have you ever had to cover your ears during a violin recital?
Damage was being done to your hearing if you’ve ever experienced pain from high-frequency sound. If you endured this for an extended period of time, regularly subjected yourself to it, or were exposed at a high volume, then the damage might have become permanent.
Studies have also discovered that you don’t even need to be able to hear the sound. High-frequency sounds emanating from sensors, trains, machinery, and other man-made devices could be producing frequencies that do damage with too much exposure.
Very low-frequency sound called “infrasound” can also affect your health. It can resonate the body in such a way that the person feels nauseous and dizzy. Some individuals even get migraine symptoms like flashes of light and color.
Safeguarding Your Hearing
Be aware of how you feel about certain sounds. If you’re feeling pain or other symptoms when you’re exposed to particular sounds, reduce your exposure. If you’re experiencing pain in your ears, you’re probably doing damage.
In order to know how your hearing might be changing over time, contact a hearing specialist for a hearing test.