When you were 16 and cranked up the radio to full volume, you weren’t thinking about how this could damage your health. You simply enjoyed the music.
You had a good time when you were growing up, going to the movies and loud concerts. You could have even chosen a job where loud noise is the norm. Long term health issues were the furthest thing from your mind.
You more likely know differently today. Children as young as 12 can have long-term noise-induced hearing impairment. But sound is so powerful it can even be used as a weapon.
Can You Get Sick From Sound?
In short, yes. It’s apparent to doctors and scientists alike that specific sounds can make you sick. Here’s the reason why.
How Loud Sound Affects Health
Very loud sounds damage the inner ear. After sound passes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by tiny hairs in the ears. Once these tiny hairs are damaged, they don’t ever regenerate or heal. 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 damage. It only takes 15 minutes for long-term damage to occur at 100 dB. At 120 dB, the volume of a rock concert, instantaneous, long-term damage will occur.
Cardiovascular health can also be impacted by noise. Obesity, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other vascular issues can be the consequence of elevated stress hormones brought on by excessively loud noise. This might explain the headaches and memory issues that people subjected to loud noise complain about. Cardiovascular health is directly related to these symptoms.
As a matter of fact, one study confirmed that sound volumes that begin to affect the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. That’s about the volume of a person with a quiet inside voice.
Your Health is Impacted by Some Sound Frequencies – This is How
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 drowned out by a television. How might it have been able to make people sick?
Frequency is the answer.
Even at lower volumes, appreciable damage can be done by some high-frequency sound.
Have you ever cringed when somebody scratched their nails on a chalkboard? Have you been driven crazy by someone continuously dragging their finger across a folded piece of paper? Have you ever needed to cover your ears during a violin recital?
Damage was happening to your hearing if you’ve ever felt pain from high-frequency sound. If you endured this for an extended period of time, regularly subjected yourself to it, or were exposed at a high volume, then the damage could have become permanent.
Studies have also discovered that you don’t even need to be able to hear the sound. High-frequency sounds emanating from trains, sensors, machinery, and other man-made devices may be producing frequencies that do damage with too much exposure.
Extremely low-frequency sound known as “infrasound” can also affect your health. It can vibrate the body in such a way that the person feels nauseated and dizzy. Some individuals even get migraine symptoms like flashes of color and light.
How You Can Protect Your Hearing
Be aware of how you feel about particular sounds. Reduce your exposure if particular sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. Pain is commonly a warning sign of damage.
Have your hearing checked regularly by a hearing specialist to find out how your hearing may be changing over time.