Hearing Loss is Not The Only Health Concern Connected To Noise

Man getting hearing loss from blowing leaves without hearing protection.

When you were younger you most likely had no clue that turning the volume up on your music could lead to health issues. You just enjoyed the music.

You had a good time when you were growing up, going to loud concerts and movies. You may have even picked a job where loud noise is the norm. Still, you didn’t think it had any lasting impact.

You more likely know differently today. Children as young as 12 can have long-term noise-induced hearing impairment. But did you realize that sound is so powerful that it can even be used as a weapon?

Can You Get Ill From Sound?

Actually, it Can. Certain sounds can evidently cause you to get ill according to scientists and doctors. Here’s the reason why.

How Loud Sound Affects Health

Really loud sounds harm the inner ear. After sound goes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by tiny hairs in the ears. These hairs never grow back once they are damaged. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.

Damaging volume begins at 85 decibels for an 8 hour time period. If you’re exposed to over 100 decibels, long-term impairment happens within 15 minutes. A loud concert is around 120 decibels, which brings about instant, permanent damage.

Noises can also impact cardiovascular health. 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 people who are exposed to loud noise complain about memory loss and headaches, this may explain why. These are strongly 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 about the volume of somebody with a quiet indoor voice.

How Sound Frequency Affects Health

A few years ago, diplomats in Cuba became sick when subjected to sounds. The sound in Cuba wasn’t very loud. It could even be blocked out by a television. So how could this kind of sound make people sick?

Frequency is the answer.

High Frequency

High frequency sounds like the one experienced in Cuba can do significant damage at lower volumes.

Have you ever cringed when someone scratched their nails on a chalkboard? Have you been driven crazy by someone repeatedly dragging their finger over a folded piece of paper? Does the shrill sound of a violin put you on edge?

If you’ve felt the energy of high-frequency sounds, the pain you felt was actually damage being done to your hearing. The damage may have become irreversible if you’ve subjected yourself to this sort of sound repeatedly for longer periods of time.

Studies have also revealed that damage can happen even if you can’t hear the sound. Damaging frequencies can come from many common devices such as machinery, trains, sensors, etc.

Low Frequency

Extremely low-frequency sound known as “infrasound” can also impact your health. It can vibrate the body in such a way that you feel nauseated and disoriented. Some even get flashes of color and light that are typical in migraine sufferers.

Protecting Your Hearing

Recognize how specific sounds make you feel. If you’re feeling pain or other symptoms when you’re around specific sounds, limit your exposure. Pain is typically a warning sign of damage.

In order to understand how your hearing might be changing over time, contact a hearing specialist for an examination.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.