When you were a teenager and turned up the radio 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 might have even picked a career where loud noise is normal. Still, you didn’t think it had any long-term effects.
You more likely know differently today. 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 You Get Ill From Sound?
In a word, yes. Certain sounds can evidently make you sick according to doctors and scientists. Here’s the reason why.
How Health is Affected by Loud Noise
The inner ear can be harmed by extremely loud sounds. You have tiny hairs that detect +
vibrations after they pass through the membrane of the eardrum. These hairs never grow back once they are damaged. This is what causes the sensorineural hearing loss that many people deal with as they age.
Harmful volume begins at 85 decibels over an 8 hour time frame. It only takes 15 minutes for long-term damage to develop at 100 dB. A rock concert is around 120 decibels, which brings about immediate, permanent harm.
Noises can also affect cardiovascular wellness. Subjection to loud sounds can increase stress hormones, which can lead to clogged arteries, obesity, high blood pressure, and more. So when people who are exposed to loud noise complain about headaches and memory loss, this could explain why. These are directly linked to the health of your cardiovascular system.
Sound as low as 45 decibels can, based on one study, begin to impact your hormones and your heart. That’s approximately the volume of a person with a quiet inside voice.
Your Health is Affected by Some Sound Frequencies – This is How
Cuban diplomats became sick after being subjected to certain sounds a few years ago. The sound in Cuba wasn’t very loud. They were able to drown it out with a tv. So how could this type of sound cause people to get sick?
Frequency is the answer.
High frequency sounds such as the one experienced in Cuba can do significant harm at lower volumes.
Have you ever cringed when somebody scratched their nails on a chalkboard? Have you been driven nuts by somebody continuously dragging their finger across a folded piece of paper? Have you ever had to cover your ears during a violin recital?
If you’ve felt the energy of high-pitched sounds, the pain you felt was in fact damage being done to your hearing. The damage could have become permanent if you’ve exposed yourself to this kind 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. High-pitched sounds coming from sensors, trains, machinery, and other man-made devices could be producing frequencies that do damage with too much exposure.
Your health can also be affected by infrasound which is extremely low frequency sound. It can resonate the body in such a way that you feel nauseated and dizzy. Some even get flashes of light and color that are typical in migraine sufferers.
Protecting Your Hearing
Know how certain sounds make you feel. If you’re feeling pain or other symptoms when you’re exposed to specific sounds, limit your exposure. Pain is frequently a warning sign of damage.
Have your hearing examined regularly by a hearing specialist to understand how your hearing may be changing over time.