When you were 16 and turned the radio up to full volume, you weren’t thinking about how this could affect your health. 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 common for you to have experienced loud noise at work. Long term health problems were the furthest thing from your mind.
You more likely know differently now. Children as young as 12 can have permanent noise-induced hearing loss. But sound is so powerful it can actually be used as a weapon.
Can Sound Make You Ill?
In fact, it Can. Certain sounds can evidently cause you to get sick according to doctors and scientists. This is the reason why.
How Health is Impacted by Loud Noise
Very loud sounds damage the inner ear. After sound passes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by tiny hairs in the ears. 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.
Damaging volume begins at 85 decibels for an 8 hour time period. It only takes 15 minutes for permanent damage to occur at 100 dB. A rock concert is around 120 decibels, which brings about instant, permanent damage.
Cardiovascular health can also be impacted by noise. High blood pressure, clogged arteries, obesity, and other vascular issues can be the outcome of increased stress hormones induced by overly loud noise. This could explain the memory and headache problems that individuals subjected to loud noise complain about. These are strongly connected to cardiovascular health.
Sound as low as 45 decibels can, according to one study, start to impact your hormones and your heart. A person speaking with a quiet indoor voice is at this volume level.
Your Health is Affected by Certain Sound Frequencies – Here’s How
Cuban diplomats became sick after being subjected to certain sounds several years ago. The sound in Cuba wasn’t very loud. It could even be drowned out by a television. How could it have made people ill?
The answer is frequency.
High frequency sounds such as the one experienced in Cuba can do appreciable harm at lower volumes.
Does the sound of nails on a chalkboard make you cringe? Have you been driven crazy by someone continuously dragging their finger across a folded piece of paper? Have you ever had to cover your ears during a violin recital?
Damage was being done to your hearing if you’ve ever felt pain from high-pitched sound. The damage could have become permanent if you’ve subjected yourself to this sort of sound repeatedly for longer time periods.
Research has also found that you don’t even have to be able to hear the sound. Damaging frequencies can come from lots of common devices such as machinery, trains, sensors, etc.
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 disoriented. Some individuals even get migraine symptoms such as flashes of color and light.
Safeguarding Your Hearing
Be mindful of how you feel about specific sounds. Minimize your exposure if certain sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. Pain is often a warning sign of damage.
Have your hearing checked regularly by a hearing specialist to find out how your hearing might be changing over time.