When you were a kid you probably had no idea that cranking up the volume on your music could lead to health problems. You just enjoyed the music.
As you got older, you probably indulged in evenings out at loud movies and concerts. It might even be common for you to have experienced loud noise at work. Still, you didn’t think it had any long-term effects.
You more likely know differently today. Children as young as 12 can have lasting noise-induced hearing loss. But sound is so powerful it can even be used as a weapon.
Can You Get Ill From Sound?
In fact, it Can. Particular sounds can evidently make you ill according to doctors and scientists. Here’s the reason why.
How Loud Sound Affects Health
The inner ear can be damaged by very loud sounds. After sound passes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by little hairs in the ears. These hairs never regenerate once they are destroyed. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.
Damaging volume begins at 85 decibels over an 8 hour time frame. If you’re subjected to over 100 dB, permanent damage happens within 15 minutes. A rock concert is about 120 decibels, which triggers instantaneous, permanent damage.
Cardiovascular health can also be impacted by noise. Obesity, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other vascular problems can be the consequence of increased stress hormones brought on by overly loud noise. This might explain the headaches and memory issues that individuals exposed to loud noise complain about. Cardiovascular health is strongly related to these symptoms.
Actually, one study showed that sound volumes that begin to affect the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. A person talking with a quiet inside voice is at this volume level.
How Sound Frequency Affects Health
Cuban diplomats got sick after being subjected to certain sounds several years ago. This sound wasn’t at a really loud volume. It could even be blocked out by a television. How might it have been able to make people ill?
Frequency is the answer.
Even at lower volumes, significant harm can be done by some high-frequency sound.
Have you ever cringed when someone scraped their nails on a chalkboard? Have you been driven nuts by someone continuously dragging their finger across a folded piece of paper? Have you ever had to plug 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 experienced this for a time, regularly exposed yourself to it, or were exposed at a high volume, then the damage might have become permanent.
Studies have also revealed that damage can happen even if you can’t hear the sound. Harmful frequencies can come from many common devices such as machinery, trains, sensors, etc.
Your health can also be impacted by infrasound which is really low frequency sound. The vibrations can make you feel disoriented and physically sick. Some individuals even experience migraine symptoms such as flashes of light and color.
Safeguarding Your Hearing
Be mindful of how you feel about particular sounds. Minimize your exposure if specific sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. If you’re experiencing pain in your ears, you’re probably doing damage.
Have your hearing tested regularly by a hearing specialist to find out how your hearing could be changing over time.