When you were 16 and cranked up the radio to full volume, you weren’t thinking about how this could harm your health. You were simply having a good time listening to your tunes.
You had fun when you were growing up, going to the movies and loud concerts. You may have even picked a job where loud noise is the norm. Still, you didn’t think it had any lasting impact.
Now that you’re older and more mature, you probably know better. Children as young as 12 can have permanent noise-induced hearing loss. But sound is so powerful it can even be used as a weapon.
Can You Get Sick From Sound?
Actually, it Can. It’s apparent to scientists and doctors alike that specific sound can make you ill. This is the reason why.
How Loud Sound Impacts Health
The inner ear can be harmed by really loud sounds. After sound goes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by tiny hairs in the ears. These hairs never regenerate once they are damaged. This is what causes the sensorineural hearing loss that many people deal with as they age.
Over 85 dB of volume for an 8 hour period will start to cause long-term damage. It only takes 15 minutes for permanent impairment to occur at 100 dB. A rock concert is around 120 decibels, which brings about instant, irreversible harm.
Cardiovascular wellness can also be impacted by noise. Obesity, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other vascular problems can be the consequence of elevated stress hormones brought on by overly loud noise. So when people who are subjected to loud noise complain about headaches and memory loss, this may explain why. Cardiovascular health is strongly connected to these symptoms.
Sound as low as 45 decibels can, according to one study, begin to affect your hormones and your heart. A person talking with a quiet inside voice is at this volume level.
Your Health is Impacted by Certain Sound Frequencies – Here’s How
A few years ago, diplomats in Cuba got sick when exposed to sounds. This sound wasn’t at a very loud volume. They were able to block it out with a television. So how could this kind of sound cause people to get sick?
Frequency is the answer.
Even at lower volumes, appreciable damage can be done by certain high-frequency sound.
Does the sound of nails on a chalkboard make you cringe? Have you ever begged a co-worker to stop as they press their fingers across a folded piece of paper? Have you ever needed to cover your ears during a violin recital?
If you’ve felt the energy of high-frequency sounds, the pain you felt was in fact damage happening to your hearing. If you experienced this for an extended period of time, frequently subjected yourself to it, or were exposed at a high volume, then the damage may have become permanent.
Research has also found that you don’t even need to be able to hear the sound. High-frequency sounds emanating from trains, sensors, machinery, and other man-made devices could be producing frequencies that do damage with sustained exposure.
Your health can also be affected by infrasound which is extremely low frequency sound. The vibrations can make you feel disoriented and physically sick. Some people even experience migraine symptoms such as flashes of color and light.
How You Can Protect Your Hearing
Know how particular sounds make you feel. If you’re feeling pain or other symptoms when you’re around certain 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, get in touch with a hearing specialist for an examination.