When you were 16 and turned up the radio to full volume, you had little thought about how this could harm your health. You just enjoyed the music.
As you grew, you may have indulged in nights out at loud concerts or the movies. You may have even chosen a job where loud noise is normal. Lasting health issues were the furthest thing from your mind.
You probably know differently today. Noise-induced hearing loss can show up in kids as young as 12. But sound is so powerful it can actually be used as a weapon.
Can You Get Sick From Sound?
In a word, yes. Particular sounds can evidently cause you to get ill according to scientists and doctors. Here’s why.
How Health is Impacted by Loud Noise
The inner ear can be injured by very loud sounds. After sound passes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by tiny 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.
Damaging volume begins at 85 decibels for an 8 hour time period. It only takes 15 minutes for long-term impairment to occur at 100 dB. At 120 dB, the volume of a rock concert, instantaneous, permanent damage will take place.
Noises can also impact cardiovascular wellness. Subjection to loud noise can increase stress hormones, which can result in High blood pressure, clogged arteries, obesity, and more. So when individuals who are exposed to loud noise complain about memory loss and headaches, this could explain why. These are firmly linked to the health of your cardiovascular system.
In fact, one study showed that sound volumes that start 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
A few years ago, diplomats in Cuba got sick when subjected to sounds. This sound wasn’t at a very loud volume. It could even be blocked out by a television. So how could this kind of sound cause people to get sick?
Frequency is the answer.
High frequency sounds like the one experienced in Cuba can do considerable damage at lower volumes.
Does the sound of nails on a chalkboard make you cringe? Have you been driven crazy by someone repeatedly dragging their finger over a folded piece of paper? Does the shrill sound of a violin put you on edge?
If you’ve felt the energy of high-frequency sounds, the pain you felt was actually damage happening to your hearing. If you experienced this for a time, frequently subjected yourself to it, or were exposed at a high volume, then the damage might have become irreversible.
Studies have also discovered that damage can happen even if you can’t hear the sound. Harmful frequencies can come from lots of common devices such as machinery, trains, sensors, etc.
Your health can also be affected by infrasound which is really low frequency sound. The vibrations can make you feel dizzy and physically ill. Some individuals even experience migraine symptoms like flashes of light and color.
Protecting Your Hearing
Recognize how specific sounds make you feel. Minimize your exposure if particular 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, get in touch with a hearing specialist for an exam.