Texas Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists, LLP - Bedford, Grapevine and Southlake, TX

Man getting hearing loss from blowing leaves without hearing protection.

When you were 16 and cranked up the radio to full volume, you had little thought about how this might affect your health. 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 chosen a career where loud noise is the norm. Still, you didn’t think it had any long-term impact.

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 impairment. But sound is so powerful it can even be used as a weapon.

Can Sound Make You Ill?

In a word, yes. Certain sounds can evidently make you ill according to scientists and doctors. Here’s the reason why.

How Health is Affected by Loud Noise

Extremely loud sounds injure the inner ear. You have tiny hairs that detect +
vibrations after they go through the eardrum membrane. Once these small hairs are damaged, they don’t ever regenerate or heal. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.

Damaging volume starts at 85 decibels for an 8 hour period of time. It only takes 15 minutes for lasting damage to develop at 100 dB. A loud concert is about 120 decibels, which triggers immediate, irreversible harm.

Cardiovascular wellness can also be affected by noise. Subjection to loud sounds can increase stress hormones, which can lead to High blood pressure, clogged arteries, obesity, and more. So when individuals who are exposed to loud noise complain about headaches and memory loss, this may explain why. Cardiovascular health is directly connected to these symptoms.

Sound as low as 45 decibels can, as reported by one study, start to have an impact on your hormones and your heart. That’s around the volume of a person with a quiet indoor voice.

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

A few years ago, diplomats in Cuba got sick when subjected to sounds. This sound was not at a very high volume. It could even be blocked out by a television. How could it have made people sick?

Frequency is the answer.

High Frequency

High frequency sounds such as the one experienced in Cuba can do appreciable damage 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 across a folded piece of paper? Have you ever had to plug your ears during a violin recital?

If you’ve felt the force of high-pitched sounds, the pain you felt was actually damage being done to your hearing. If you endured this for a time, frequently subjected yourself to it, or were exposed at a high volume, then the damage could have become permanent.

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

Low Frequency

Your health can also be affected by infrasound which is very low frequency sound. It can vibrate the body in such a way that the person feels nauseated and disoriented. Some people even experience migraine symptoms such as flashes of light and color.

How You Can Protect Your Hearing

Know how certain sounds make you feel. If you’re feeling pain or other symptoms when you’re around specific sounds, limit your exposure. If you’re experiencing pain in your ears, you’re probably doing damage.

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

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