When you were 16 and turned the radio up to full volume, you weren’t thinking about how this could harm your health. You just enjoyed the music.
You had a good time when you were growing up, going to loud concerts and movies. You could have even picked a job where loud noise is the norm. Still, you didn’t think it had any long-term effects.
You probably know differently today. Noise-induced hearing impairment can appear in children as young as 12. But sound is so powerful it can actually be used as a weapon.
Can Sound Make You Sick?
In fact, it Can. It’s apparent to scientists and doctors alike that specific sound can make you ill. Here’s why.
How Health is Affected by Loud Noise
Very loud sounds injure the inner ear. You have tiny hairs that detect +
vibrations after they pass through the membrane of the eardrum. Once these tiny hairs are damaged, they don’t ever heal or regenerate. 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. It only takes 15 minutes for permanent damage to develop at 100 dB. A loud concert is about 120 decibels, which causes immediate, permanent harm.
Cardiovascular wellness can also be impacted by noise. Exposure to loud noise can boost stress hormones, which can lead to clogged arteries, obesity, high blood pressure, and more. This could explain the headaches and memory problems that individuals subjected to loud noise complain about. These are directly linked to cardiovascular health.
As a matter of fact, one study confirmed that sound volumes that start to affect 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 Impacted by Certain Sound Frequencies – Here’s How
Several years ago, diplomats in Cuba got sick when exposed to sounds. This sound wasn’t at a really loud volume. They were able to block it out with a tv. So how could this kind of sound cause people to get sick?
The answer is frequency.
Even at lower volumes, considerable harm 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? 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 happening to your hearing. The damage may have become permanent if you’ve subjected yourself to this sort of sound repeatedly for longer periods of time.
Studies have also revealed that damage can be done even if you can’t hear the sound. Damaging frequencies can come from lots of common devices such as sensors, trains, machinery, etc.
Very low-frequency sound known as “infrasound” can also impact your health. It can vibrate the body in such a way that you feel nauseated and dizzy. Some even get flashes of light and color that are common in migraine sufferers.
Protecting Your Hearing
Be mindful of how you feel about specific sounds. Reduce your exposure if certain sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. Pain is frequently a warning sign of damage.
In order to know how your hearing might be changing over time, get in touch with a hearing specialist for a hearing test.