When you were younger you most likely had no idea that turning the volume up on your music could lead to health issues. You just enjoyed the music.
As you got older, you may have indulged in nights out at loud movies and concerts. You might have even picked a job where loud noise is normal. Still, you didn’t think it had any long-term effects.
You probably know differently now. Noise-induced hearing impairment can appear in kids as young as 12. But did you know that sound is so powerful that it can even be used as a weapon?
Can You Get Ill From Sound?
Actually, it Can. It’s evident to doctors and scientists alike that specific sound can make you ill. Here’s the reason why.
How Health is Impacted by Loud Noise
The inner ear can be damaged by extremely loud sounds. After sound goes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by little hairs in the ears. These hairs never regenerate once they are damaged. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.
Dangerous volume starts at 85 decibels for an 8 hour period of time. It only takes 15 minutes for permanent impairment to occur at 100 dB. At 120 dB, the volume of a rock concert, instant, long-term impairment will happen.
Cardiovascular health can also be affected by noise. Subjection to loud noise can increase stress hormones, which can contribute to High blood pressure, clogged arteries, obesity, and more. This may explain the memory and headache issues that individuals exposed to loud noise complain about. Cardiovascular health is strongly linked to these symptoms.
Actually, one study showed that sound volumes that start to affect the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. A person speaking with a quiet inside voice is at this volume level.
Your Health is Affected by Certain Sound Frequencies – This is How
Cuban diplomats got sick after being subjected to certain sounds a few years ago. This sound wasn’t at a really high volume. They could block it out with a tv. How could it have made people sick?
The answer is frequency.
Even at lower volumes, significant damage can be done by certain high-frequency sound.
Does the sound of nails on a chalkboard make you cringe? Have you been driven nuts by somebody continuously dragging their finger across a folded piece of paper? Have you ever needed to plug your ears during a violin recital?
Damage was happening to your hearing if you’ve ever felt pain from high-pitched sound. If you experienced this for a time, regularly exposed yourself to it, or were exposed at a high volume, then the damage could have become irreversible.
Studies have also discovered that damage can be done even if you can’t hear the sound. Harmful frequencies can come from many common devices such as machinery, trains, sensors, etc.
Extremely low-frequency sound called “infrasound” can also affect your health. The vibrations can make you feel dizzy and physically sick. Some even get flashes of light and color that are common in migraine sufferers.
Protecting Your Hearing
Know how specific sounds make you feel. Minimize your exposure if certain sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. If you’re experiencing pain in your ears, you’re most likely doing damage.
Get your hearing tested regularly by a hearing specialist to understand how your hearing might be changing over time.