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Man getting hearing loss from blowing leaves without hearing protection.

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

You had fun when you were growing up, going to the movies and loud concerts. It might even be common for you to have experienced loud noise at work. Long term health problems were the furthest thing from your mind.

You probably know differently now. Noise-induced hearing impairment can show up in children as young as 12. But sound is so powerful it can actually be used as a weapon.

Can Sound Make You Ill?

In fact, it Can. Particular sounds can evidently make you sick according to doctors and scientists. Here’s the reason why.

How Loud Sound Affects Health

The inner ear can be damaged by very loud sounds. After sound passes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by tiny hairs in the ears. These hairs never grow back once they are destroyed. 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 lasting damage. If you’re subjected to over 100 dB, long-term damage takes place within 15 minutes. A rock concert is about 120 decibels, which brings about instant, permanent damage.

Cardiovascular wellness can also be impacted by noise. Subjection to loud noise can boost stress hormones, which can result in clogged arteries, obesity, high blood pressure, and more. This might explain the headaches and memory problems that people exposed to loud noise complain about. These are directly related to cardiovascular health.

In fact, one study confirmed 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 indoor voice.

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

Cuban diplomats got sick after being subjected to certain sounds several years ago. The sound in Cuba wasn’t that loud. It could even be drowned out by a television. How could it have made people ill?

Frequency is the answer.

High Frequency

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

Does the sound of nails on a chalkboard cause you to cringe? 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?

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

Research has also revealed that damage can be done even if you can’t hear the sound. High-frequency sounds emanating from sensors, trains, machinery, and other man-made devices could be emitting frequencies that do damage with prolonged exposure.

Low Frequency

Very low-frequency sound called “infrasound” can also affect your health. It can vibrate the body in such a way that the person feels nauseous and disoriented. Some even get flashes of light and color that are common in migraine sufferers.

How You Can Safeguard Your Hearing

Recognize how particular sounds make you feel. If you’re feeling pain or other symptoms when you’re exposed to specific sounds, reduce your exposure. If you’re experiencing pain in your ears, you’re most likely doing damage.

Have your hearing examined regularly by a hearing specialist to understand how your hearing might be changing over time.

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