American Hearing & Audiology - Conway, AR

Man getting hearing loss from blowing leaves without hearing protection.

When you were a kid you probably had no idea that turning up the volume on your music could result in health issues. You just enjoyed the music.

You had a good time when you were growing up, going to the movies and loud concerts. You may have even picked a career where loud noise is the norm. Long term health concerns were the furthest thing from your mind.

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

Can You Get Ill From Sound?

In short, yes. Particular sounds can evidently cause you to get ill according to doctors and scientists. Here’s why.

How Loud Sound Affects Health

The inner ear can be harmed by extremely loud sounds. After sound passes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by tiny hairs in the ears. These hairs never regenerate once they are damaged. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.

Over 85 dB of volume for an 8 hour period of time will begin to cause long-term impairment. If you’re exposed to over 100 decibels, lasting impairment happens within 15 minutes. At 120 dB, the volume of a rock concert, instant, permanent impairment will take place.

Cardiovascular health can also be impacted by noise. Exposure to loud sounds can boost stress hormones, which can result in clogged arteries, obesity, high blood pressure, and more. So when individuals who are exposed to loud noise complain about headaches and memory loss, this may explain why. These are strongly connected to cardiovascular health.

Sound as low as 45 decibels can, based on one study, begin to have an impact on your hormones and your heart. That’s approximately the volume of a person with a quiet inside voice.

Your Health is Affected by Certain Sound Frequencies – This is How

Cuban diplomats got sick after being subjected to certain sounds a few years ago. The sound in Cuba wasn’t very loud. They could drown it out with a tv. How might it have been able to make people ill?

Frequency is the answer.

High Frequency

Even at lower volumes, significant damage can be done by some high-frequency sound.

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

Damage was happening to your hearing if you’ve ever felt pain from high-frequency sound. The damage may have become irreversible if you’ve subjected yourself to this kind of sound repeatedly for longer periods of time.

Research has also found that you don’t even need to be able to hear the sound. High-pitched sounds emanating from sensors, trains, machinery, and other man-made devices could be emitting frequencies that do damage with too much exposure.

Low Frequency

Very low-frequency sound known as “infrasound” can also affect your health. The vibrations can make you feel dizzy and physically sick. Some individuals even experience migraine symptoms such as flashes of color and light.

How You Can Safeguard Your Hearing

Be aware of how you feel about specific sounds. Reduce your exposure if particular sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. Pain is often a warning sign of damage.

Have your hearing examined regularly by a hearing specialist to find out how your hearing could be changing over time.

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