When you were younger you most likely had no idea that cranking the volume up on your music could lead to health concerns. You just enjoyed the music.
As you got older, you may have indulged in evenings out at loud movies and concerts. You may have even picked a career where loud noise is normal. Still, you didn’t think it had any long-term impact.
You more likely know differently now. 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 fact, it Can. It’s apparent to doctors and scientists alike that specific sound can make you sick. Here’s the reason why.
How Health is Impacted by Loud Noise
The inner ear can be harmed by very loud sounds. You have little hairs that pick up +
vibrations after they pass through the eardrum membrane. These hairs never regenerate once they are destroyed. This is what causes the sensorineural hearing loss that many people deal with as they age.
Dangerous volume begins at 85 decibels over an 8 hour period of time. It only takes 15 minutes for long-term damage to occur at 100 dB. At 120 dB, the volume of a rock concert, instantaneous, irreversible damage will occur.
Noises can also impact cardiovascular wellness. Obesity, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other vascular concerns can be the outcome of elevated stress hormones brought on by excessively loud noise. This could explain the memory and headache problems that people exposed to loud noise complain about. Cardiovascular health is directly related to these symptoms.
In fact, one study confirmed that sound volumes that start to affect the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. A person speaking with a quiet indoor voice is at this volume level.
Your Health is Impacted by Certain Sound Frequencies – Here’s How
A few years ago, diplomats in Cuba became sick when exposed to sounds. This sound was not at a very loud volume. It could even be drowned out by a television. How might it have been able to make people sick?
The answer is frequency.
Even at lower volumes, considerable damage can be done by some high-frequency sound.
Does the sound of nails on a chalkboard make you cringe? Have you been driven nuts by someone continuously dragging their finger across a folded piece of paper? Have you ever had to plug your ears during a violin recital?
Damage was being done to your hearing if you’ve ever experienced pain from high-pitched sound. If you experienced this for an extended period of time, frequently subjected yourself to it, or were exposed at a high volume, then the damage could have become permanent.
Research has also discovered that damage can be done even if you can’t hear the sound. Damaging frequencies can come from lots of common devices such as machinery, trains, sensors, etc.
Very low-frequency sound called “infrasound” can also impact your health. It can vibrate the body in such a way that you feel nauseous and disoriented. Some people even get migraine symptoms like flashes of light and color.
Protecting Your Hearing
Be aware of how you feel about particular sounds. Limit your exposure if certain sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. If you’re experiencing pain in your ears, you’re most likely doing damage.
Have your hearing examined regularly by a hearing specialist to understand how your hearing might be changing over time.