When you were a teenager and cranked up the radio to full volume, you had little thought about how this might damage your health. You simply enjoyed the music.
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. Still, you didn’t think it had any lasting impact.
Now that you are older and more mature, you more likely know better. Children as young as 12 can have lasting noise-induced hearing loss. But sound is so powerful it can even be used as a weapon.
Can Sound Make You Ill?
Actually, it Can. It’s evident to doctors and scientists alike that specific sound can make you ill. This is why.
How Loud Sound Impacts Health
Very loud sounds injure the inner ear. You have little hairs that pick up +
vibrations after they pass through the eardrum membrane. Once these small hairs are destroyed, they don’t ever grow back or heal. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.
Harmful volume begins at 85 decibels for an 8 hour period of time. It only takes 15 minutes for long-term impairment to develop at 100 dB. At 120 dB, the volume of a rock concert, instantaneous, lasting damage will occur.
Cardiovascular health can also be impacted by noise. High blood pressure, clogged arteries, obesity, and other vascular problems can be the consequence of elevated stress hormones induced by overly loud noise. So when individuals who are exposed to loud noise complain about headaches and memory loss, this may explain why. These are firmly related to cardiovascular health.
In fact, one study showed that sound volumes that start to impact the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. That’s approximately the volume of a person with a quiet indoor voice.
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 blocked out by a television. So how could this kind of sound make people sick?
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 nuts by someone repeatedly dragging their finger across a folded piece of paper? Have you ever needed to plug your ears during a violin recital?
If you’ve felt the power of high-pitched sounds, the pain you felt was actually damage happening to your hearing. If you endured this for a time, frequently exposed yourself to it, or were exposed at a high volume, then the damage might have become permanent.
Research has also discovered that you don’t even have to be able to hear the sound. Damaging frequencies can come from many common devices such as sensors, trains, machinery, etc.
Very low-frequency sound known as “infrasound” can also affect your health. The vibrations can make you feel dizzy and physically sick. Some individuals even get 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 particular sounds, reduce your exposure. Pain is typically a warning sign of damage.
In order to know how your hearing might be changing over time, contact a hearing specialist for an exam.