When you were younger you probably had no clue that cranking up the volume on your music could lead to health problems. You were simply having fun listening to your tunes.
As you grew, you may have indulged in evenings out at loud concerts or the movies. You might have even chosen a job where loud noise is the norm. Long term health issues were the furthest thing from your mind.
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 impairment. But did you know that sound is so formidable that it can even be used as a weapon?
Can Sound Make You Sick?
In short, yes. It’s apparent to scientists and doctors alike that specific sound can make you sick. This is why.
How Health is Impacted by Loud Noise
Really 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. These hairs never grow back once they are destroyed. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.
Over 85 dB of volume for an 8 hour period will begin to cause permanent impairment. It only takes 15 minutes for lasting damage to set in at 100 dB. At 120 dB, the volume of a rock concert, instant, long-term impairment will take place.
Cardiovascular wellness can also be affected by noise. Subjection to loud sounds can boost stress hormones, which can contribute to clogged arteries, obesity, high blood pressure, and more. This may explain the memory and headache problems that individuals exposed to loud noise complain about. These are strongly related to cardiovascular health.
In fact, one study confirmed that sound volumes that begin to impact the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. That’s about the volume of someone with a quiet inside voice.
Your Health is Impacted by Certain Sound Frequencies – This is How
Cuban diplomats got sick after being exposed to certain sounds a few years ago. The sound in Cuba wasn’t that loud. It could even be blocked out by a television. How could it have made people ill?
The answer is frequency.
High frequency sounds like the one experienced in Cuba can do considerable damage at lower volumes.
Have you ever cringed when someone scraped their nails on a chalkboard? Have you ever begged a co-worker to stop as they press their fingers over a folded piece of paper? Does the shrill sound of a violin put you on edge?
Damage was being done to your hearing if you’ve ever experienced pain from high-pitched sound. The damage may have become permanent if you’ve exposed yourself to this sort of sound repeatedly for longer time periods.
Research has also discovered that you don’t even need to be able to hear the sound. High-frequency sounds coming from trains, sensors, machinery, and other man-made devices could be producing frequencies that do damage with sustained exposure.
Very low-frequency sound called “infrasound” can also impact your health. It can resonate the body in such a way that you feel nauseated and disoriented. Some individuals even get migraine symptoms like flashes of color and light.
How You Can Safeguard Your Hearing
Be mindful of how you feel about certain sounds. Limit your exposure if certain sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. Pain is typically a warning sign of damage.
Get your hearing examined regularly by a hearing specialist to find out how your hearing could be changing over time.