Lake Murray Hearing - Columbia and Lexington, SC

Man getting hearing loss from blowing leaves without hearing protection.

When you were a teenager and cranked the radio up to full volume, you had little thought about how this could harm your health. You were simply having a good time listening to your tunes.

As you got older, you probably indulged in nights out at loud concerts or the movies. You might have even chosen a job where loud noise is the norm. Still, you didn’t think it had any long-term effects.

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

Can Sound Make You Sick?

In short, yes. Certain sounds can evidently make you sick according to scientists and doctors. Here’s why.

How Loud Sound Affects Health

The inner ear can be damaged by really loud sounds. You have tiny hairs that pick up +
vibrations after they go through the eardrum membrane. These hairs never grow back once they are destroyed. This is what causes the sensorineural hearing loss that many people deal with as they age.

Harmful volume begins at 85 decibels over an 8 hour period of time. It only takes 15 minutes for permanent impairment to set in at 100 dB. A rock concert is around 120 decibels, which causes instant, irreversible harm.

Noises can also impact cardiovascular wellness. Exposure to loud noise can boost stress hormones, which can result in High blood pressure, clogged arteries, obesity, and more. This may explain the headaches and memory issues that people subjected to loud noise complain about. Cardiovascular health is directly connected to these symptoms.

In fact, one study confirmed that sound volumes that begin to affect the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. A person talking with a quiet indoor voice is at this volume level.

Your Health is Impacted by Some Sound Frequencies – This is How

A few years ago, diplomats in Cuba got sick when exposed to sounds. The sound in Cuba wasn’t very loud. It could even be drowned 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, significant damage can be done by some high-frequency sound.

Does the sound of nails on a chalkboard cause you to cringe? Have you been driven crazy by someone continuously dragging their finger over a folded piece of paper? Have you ever needed to plug your ears during a violin recital?

If you’ve felt the energy of high-pitched sounds, the pain you felt was in fact damage being done to your hearing. The damage could have become irreversible if you’ve exposed yourself to this kind of sound repeatedly for longer periods of time.

Studies have also found that you don’t even have to be able to 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. It can resonate the body in such a way that the person feels nauseous and disoriented. Some even get flashes of light and color that are typical in migraine sufferers.

How You Can Protect Your Hearing

Know how specific sounds make you feel. Limit your exposure if specific sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. Pain is frequently a warning sign of damage.

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

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