When you were younger you probably had no idea that turning up the volume on your music could result in health issues. You were simply having fun listening to your tunes.
You had a good time when you were growing up, going to loud concerts and movies. It may even be normal for you to have experienced loud noise at work. Still, you didn’t think it had any long-term effects.
You probably know differently now. Children as young as 12 can have long-term noise-induced hearing impairment. But did you know that sound is so powerful that it can even be used as a weapon?
Can Sound Make You Ill?
In short, yes. It’s evident to scientists and doctors alike that specific sound can make you sick. Here’s why.
How Health is Impacted by Loud Noise
Extremely loud sounds harm the inner ear. You have tiny hairs that detect +
vibrations after they go through the eardrum membrane. These hairs never regenerate once they are damaged. This is what causes the sensorineural hearing loss that many people deal with as they age.
Damaging volume starts at 85 decibels over an 8 hour period of time. It only takes 15 minutes for permanent damage to occur at 100 dB. A rock concert is about 120 decibels, which brings about instant, irreversible damage.
Cardiovascular wellness can also be affected by noise. High blood pressure, clogged arteries, obesity, and other vascular problems can be the result of increased stress hormones induced 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 directly connected to these symptoms.
Sound as low as 45 decibels can, according to one study, begin to have an impact on your hormones and your heart. A person talking with a quiet inside voice is at this volume level.
How Sound Frequency Impacts Health
Several years ago, diplomats in Cuba got sick when subjected to sounds. This sound wasn’t at a very high volume. It could even be blocked out by a television. How might it have been able to make people sick?
Frequency is the answer.
Even at lower volumes, significant harm can be done by some high-frequency sound.
Does the sound of nails on a chalkboard cause you to cringe? Have you ever begged a co-worker to stop as they press their fingers over a folded piece of paper? Have you ever needed to cover your ears during a violin recital?
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 exposed 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 many common devices like sensors, trains, machinery, etc.
Extremely low-frequency sound called “infrasound” can also impact your health. The vibrations can make you feel disoriented and physically ill. Some people even experience migraine symptoms like flashes of color and light.
Safeguarding Your Hearing
Recognize 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 most likely doing damage.
In order to know how your hearing may be changing over time, get in touch with a hearing specialist for an exam.