Man getting hearing loss from blowing leaves without hearing protection.

When you were younger you probably had no idea that turning up the volume on your music could lead to health issues. You were just having a good time listening to your tunes.

As you got older, you may have indulged in evenings out at loud movies and concerts. It may even be normal for you to have experienced loud noise at work. Still, you didn’t think it had any long-term impact.

Now that you are older and more mature, you probably know better. Children as young as 12 can have long-term noise-induced hearing loss. But did you know that sound is so formidable that it can even be used as a weapon?

Can Sound Make You Sick?

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

How Loud Sound Impacts Health

The inner ear can be damaged by extremely loud sounds. You have tiny hairs that detect +
vibrations after they pass through the eardrum membrane. These hairs never grow back once they are damaged. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.

Harmful volume begins at 85 decibels over an 8 hour period of time. It only takes 15 minutes for long-term damage to develop at 100 dB. A loud concert is around 120 decibels, which causes immediate, permanent harm.

Noises can also impact cardiovascular health. Obesity, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other vascular problems can be the result of increased stress hormones brought on by excessively loud noise. This could explain the memory and headache issues that people subjected to loud noise complain about. These are directly connected to cardiovascular health.

Actually, one study revealed that sound volumes that start to affect the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. That’s around the volume of somebody with a quiet inside voice.

How Sound Frequency Impacts Health

Cuban diplomats got sick after being exposed to certain sounds several years ago. This sound was not at a really high volume. It could even be drowned out by a television. So how could this type of sound make people sick?

Frequency is the answer.

High Frequency

High frequency sounds such as the one experienced in Cuba can do appreciable harm at lower volumes.

Have you ever cringed when someone scraped their nails on a chalkboard? Have you ever pleaded with a co-worker to stop as they press their fingers over a folded piece of paper? Have you ever needed to plug your ears during a violin recital?

Damage was being done to your hearing if you’ve ever felt pain from high-pitched sound. If you experienced this for an extended period of time, regularly subjected yourself to it, or were exposed at a high volume, then the damage might have become irreversible.

Studies have also discovered that damage can be done even if you can’t hear the sound. Harmful frequencies can come from lots of common devices such as machinery, trains, sensors, etc.

Low Frequency

Very low-frequency sound known as “infrasound” can also affect your health. The vibrations can make you feel dizzy and physically ill. Some even get flashes of light and color that are common in migraine sufferers.

How You Can Safeguard Your Hearing

Be mindful of how you feel about specific sounds. Minimize your exposure if specific sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. If you’re experiencing pain in your ears, you’re probably doing damage.

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

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