When you were a kid you most likely had no clue that cranking the volume up on your music could result in health issues. You simply enjoyed the music.
As you got older, you probably indulged in evenings out at loud movies and concerts. It may even be common for you to have experienced loud noise at work. Lasting health concerns were the furthest thing from your mind.
You more likely know differently today. Noise-induced hearing impairment can show up in children as young as 12. But sound is so powerful it can even be used as a weapon.
Can You Get Sick From Sound?
In short, yes. Particular sounds can evidently cause you to get ill according to doctors and scientists. This is why.
How Loud Sound Impacts Health
The inner ear can be injured by very loud sounds. You have tiny hairs that detect +
vibrations after they go through the eardrum membrane. Once these small hairs are destroyed, they don’t ever regenerate or heal. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.
Dangerous volume starts at 85 decibels over an 8 hour time frame. If you’re subjected to over 100 dB, permanent impairment occurs within 15 minutes. A loud concert is about 120 decibels, which brings about instantaneous, irreversible damage.
Noises can also impact cardiovascular health. Exposure to loud noise can boost stress hormones, which can lead to clogged arteries, obesity, high blood pressure, and more. So when individuals who are subjected to loud noise complain about headaches and memory loss, this may explain why. These are directly related to cardiovascular health.
Sound as low as 45 decibels can, according to one study, start to have an impact on your hormones and your heart. That’s approximately the volume of someone with a quiet indoor voice.
How Sound Frequency Impacts Health
Cuban diplomats became sick after being exposed to certain sounds a few years ago. The sound in Cuba wasn’t that loud. They were able to drown it out with a television. How could it have made people ill?
Frequency is the answer.
High frequency sounds like the one experienced in Cuba can do significant damage at lower volumes.
Does the sound of nails on a chalkboard make you cringe? Have you ever begged a co-worker to stop as they run their fingers across a folded piece of paper? Have you ever needed to plug your ears during a violin recital?
Damage was happening to your hearing if you’ve ever felt pain from high-frequency sound. If you experienced this for a time, frequently subjected yourself to it, or were exposed at a high volume, then the damage might have become irreversible.
Studies have also discovered that you don’t even have to be able to hear the sound. High-frequency sounds emanating from sensors, trains, machinery, and other man-made devices may be producing frequencies that do damage with sustained 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 the person feels nauseous and dizzy. Some even get flashes of light and color that are typical in migraine sufferers.
Safeguarding Your Hearing
Know how specific sounds make you feel. Limit your exposure if certain sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. If you’re feeling pain in your ears, you’re probably doing damage.
Have your hearing examined regularly by a hearing specialist to find out how your hearing might be changing over time.