When you were a kid you probably had no idea that turning the volume up on your music could lead to health problems. You just enjoyed the music.
You had a good time when you were growing up, going to loud concerts and movies. It might even be normal for you to have experienced loud noise at work. Still, you didn’t think it had any lasting effects.
Now that you’re older and more mature, you more likely know better. Children as young as 12 can have long-term noise-induced hearing loss. But sound is so powerful it can actually be used as a weapon.
Can You Get Ill From Sound?
Actually, it Can. Particular sounds can evidently cause you to get ill according to doctors and scientists. This is why.
How Health is Affected by Loud Noise
Extremely loud sounds harm the inner ear. After sound passes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by little hairs in the ears. Once these small hairs are damaged, they don’t ever heal or grow back. 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. If you’re subjected to over 100 decibels, lasting impairment takes place within 15 minutes. At 120 dB, the volume of a rock concert, instant, lasting damage will happen.
Noises can also impact cardiovascular health. Subjection to loud noise can boost stress hormones, which can lead to High blood pressure, clogged arteries, obesity, and more. So when individuals who are subjected to loud noise complain about headaches and memory loss, this may explain why. Cardiovascular health is strongly linked to these symptoms.
Sound as low as 45 decibels can, according to one study, begin to have an impact on your hormones and your heart. A person speaking with a quiet inside voice is at this volume level.
How Sound Frequency Affects Health
Several years ago, diplomats in Cuba became sick when subjected to sounds. The sound in Cuba wasn’t very loud. They could block it out with a tv. So how could this type of sound cause people to get sick?
Frequency is the answer.
High frequency sounds such as the one experienced in Cuba can do appreciable damage at lower volumes.
Have you ever cringed when someone scratched 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 had to plug your ears during a violin recital?
Damage was happening to your hearing if you’ve ever experienced pain from high-frequency sound. The damage could have become irreversible if you’ve exposed yourself to this sort of sound repeatedly for longer time periods.
Studies have also discovered that you don’t even need 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. The vibrations can make you feel dizzy and physically ill. Some people even experience migraine symptoms like flashes of light and color.
How You Can Protect Your Hearing
Know how certain sounds make you feel. Reduce your exposure if particular sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. Pain is typically a warning sign of damage.
In order to understand how your hearing may be changing over time, contact a hearing specialist for a hearing test.