When you were 16 and turned the radio up to full volume, you had little thought about how this could harm your health. You were just having fun listening to your tunes.
As you got older, you probably indulged in evenings out at loud movies and concerts. You might have even picked a career where loud noise is the norm. Lasting health issues were the furthest thing from your mind.
Now that you’re older and more mature, you probably know better. Noise-induced hearing loss 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 Ill?
In a word, yes. It’s evident to scientists and doctors alike that specific sound can make you ill. This is the reason why.
How Health is Affected by Loud Noise
The inner ear can be injured by really loud sounds. After sound passes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by tiny hairs in the ears. Once these small hairs are destroyed, they don’t ever heal or regenerate. This is what causes the sensorineural hearing loss that many people deal with as they age.
Over 85 dB of volume for an 8 hour period will start to cause lasting damage. It only takes 15 minutes for long-term damage to occur at 100 dB. At 120 dB, the volume of a rock concert, instant, lasting damage will take place.
Cardiovascular wellness can also be affected by noise. Exposure to loud noise can boost stress hormones, which can contribute to High blood pressure, clogged arteries, obesity, and more. So when individuals who are subjected to loud noise complain about memory loss and headaches, this may explain why. These are firmly connected to cardiovascular health.
As a matter of fact, one study revealed that sound volumes that begin 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.
How Sound Frequency Impacts Health
Cuban diplomats got sick after being subjected to certain sounds several years ago. This sound was not at a very high volume. It could even be drowned 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 crazy by somebody continuously dragging their finger over a folded piece of paper? Have you ever needed to cover your ears during a violin recital?
If you’ve felt the power of high-frequency sounds, the pain you felt was actually damage being done to your hearing. The damage could have become irreversible if you’ve subjected yourself to this sort of sound repeatedly for longer time periods.
Research has also revealed that damage can happen even if you can’t hear the sound. Harmful frequencies can come from lots of common devices like sensors, trains, machinery, etc.
Your health can also be impacted by infrasound which is very low frequency sound. The vibrations can make you feel disoriented and physically sick. Some people even experience migraine symptoms like flashes of light and color.
Safeguarding Your Hearing
Recognize how particular sounds make you feel. Minimize your exposure if certain sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. Pain is often a warning sign of damage.
In order to know how your hearing might be changing over time, contact a hearing specialist for a hearing test.