Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, IL

Man getting hearing loss from blowing leaves without hearing protection.

When you were younger you most likely had no clue that cranking up the volume on your music could lead to health problems. You were simply having a good time listening to your tunes.

You had fun when you were growing up, going to loud concerts and movies. It might even be normal for you to have experienced loud noise at work. Lasting 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 loss. But did you know that sound is so powerful that it can even be used as a weapon?

Can You Get Sick From Sound?

In fact, it Can. It’s evident to scientists and doctors alike that certain sound can make you sick. Here’s why.

How Health is Impacted by Loud Noise

Extremely loud sounds injure the inner ear. You have little hairs that pick up +
vibrations after they pass through the eardrum membrane. These hairs never grow back once they are damaged. This is what causes the sensorineural hearing loss that many people deal with as they age.

Over 85 dB of volume for an 8 hour period of time will start to cause permanent impairment. It only takes 15 minutes for lasting damage to occur at 100 dB. At 120 dB, the volume of a rock concert, instant, irreversible damage will take place.

Noises can also affect cardiovascular wellness. Obesity, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other vascular problems can be the result of elevated stress hormones induced by overly loud noise. So when individuals who are exposed to loud noise complain about headaches and memory loss, this may explain why. These are firmly connected to cardiovascular health.

As a matter of fact, one study confirmed that sound volumes that begin to impact the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. That’s around the volume of someone with a quiet indoor voice.

Your Health is Impacted by Some Sound Frequencies – Here’s How

Several years ago, diplomats in Cuba got sick when subjected to sounds. The sound in Cuba wasn’t that loud. It could even be blocked out by a television. So how could this type of sound cause people to get sick?

Frequency is the answer.

High Frequency

Even at lower volumes, appreciable harm can be done by certain high-frequency sound.

Have you ever cringed when somebody scratched their nails on a chalkboard? Have you been driven crazy by someone repeatedly dragging their finger across a folded piece of paper? Have you ever had to plug your ears during a violin recital?

If you’ve felt the power of high-pitched sounds, the pain you felt was in fact damage happening to your hearing. The damage may have become permanent if you’ve subjected yourself to this kind of sound repeatedly for longer time periods.

Studies have also found that you don’t even need to be able to hear the sound. Damaging frequencies can come from lots of common devices such as machinery, trains, sensors, etc.

Low Frequency

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

How You Can Safeguard Your Hearing

Be aware of how you feel about particular sounds. If you’re feeling pain or other symptoms when you’re around certain sounds, limit your exposure. If you’re experiencing pain in your ears, you’re most likely doing damage.

In order to understand how your hearing could be changing over time, get in touch with a hearing specialist for an exam.

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