When you were younger you probably had no clue that turning up the volume on your music could lead to health concerns. You just enjoyed the music.
As you grew, you may have indulged in evenings out at loud movies and concerts. It may even be common for you to have experienced loud noise at work. Lasting health problems were the furthest thing from your mind.
You more likely know differently now. Noise-induced hearing loss can appear in children as young as 12. But sound is so powerful 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 Loud Sound Affects Health
The inner ear can be harmed by really loud sounds. You have little hairs that pick up +
vibrations after they go through the eardrum membrane. Once these tiny hairs are damaged, they don’t ever heal or regenerate. This is what causes the sensorineural hearing loss that many people deal with as they age.
Harmful volume starts at 85 decibels for an 8 hour time period. It only takes 15 minutes for permanent impairment to occur at 100 dB. At 120 dB, the volume of a rock concert, immediate, permanent impairment will take place.
Noises can also affect cardiovascular health. Exposure to loud noise can boost stress hormones, which can lead to High blood pressure, clogged arteries, obesity, and more. This might explain the headaches and memory issues that individuals subjected to loud noise complain about. These are directly connected to cardiovascular health.
In fact, one study revealed that sound volumes that start to impact the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. That’s approximately the volume of someone with a quiet indoor voice.
Your Health is Impacted by Some Sound Frequencies – Here’s How
Several years ago, diplomats in Cuba became sick when exposed to sounds. The sound in Cuba wasn’t very loud. It could even be drowned out by a television. How might it have been able to make people sick?
The answer is frequency.
Even at lower volumes, significant harm can be done by certain high-frequency sound.
Have you ever cringed when someone scratched their nails on a chalkboard? Have you been driven crazy by somebody continuously dragging their finger across a folded piece of paper? Does the shrill sound of a violin put you on edge?
If you’ve felt the force of high-pitched sounds, the pain you felt was in fact damage being done to your hearing. The damage may have become permanent if you’ve subjected yourself to this kind of sound repeatedly for longer time periods.
Studies have also found that you don’t even need to be able to hear the sound. Damaging frequencies can come from lots of common devices such as sensors, trains, machinery, etc.
Your health can also be impacted by infrasound which is really low frequency sound. It can resonate the body in such a way that you feel nauseous and disoriented. Some individuals even get migraine symptoms like flashes of color and light.
Safeguarding Your Hearing
Be mindful of how you feel about specific sounds. Reduce your exposure if certain sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. If you’re feeling 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 an exam.