Exposure to loud noise can hurt your health in a number of ways you may not expect.
While we all realize that excessive noise is detrimental to our hearing health, most of us don’t stop to think of how it affects other areas of our physical and mental wellbeing.
Manatee Ear Center in Bradenton, Florida reminds you that it’s important to protect your hearing for many reasons so that you can live your best life. A normal conversation is about 50 decibels. Hearing loss can occur after being exposed to 85 decibels for an eight-hour period. When noise levels hit 100 decibels, you can do permanent damage after just 15 minutes. Sounds at 110 decibels can cause immediate hearing loss.
Here are some surprising ways that exposure to excessive noise affects our health:
- Can cause heart attacks: A German study discovered that up to 3% of heart attacks are directly tied to loud noises. Researchers believe it may be due to the fact that these sounds can elevate our blood pressure and cause an irregular heartbeat. Noise can also activate stress hormones, which puts a further burden on the heart.
- Tied to mental health problems: Studies have shown that excessive noise exposure increases a person’s risk of depression and anxiety by up to 200%. Regular exposure to these sounds can lead to hearing loss. When left untreated, hearing loss doubles a person’s risk of developing mental health issues.
- Takes longer to recover: The World Health Organization (WHO) discovered that the typical sounds of the hospital can make patients recover more slowly from injuries and surgeries. Being exposed to noise such as heart monitors, alarms, loud televisions and visitors in double rooms talking loudly can affect sleep, an essential component to the healing process.
- Higher healthcare costs: WHO also discovered those exposed to excessive noise tended to call in sick to work more often, were less productive at their jobs, experienced trouble learning new tasks, and made more visits to the doctor.
- Greater risk of dementia: People with severe hearing loss are five times more likely to develop dementia than those with normal hearing. Even those with mild hearing loss have double the dementia risk. The good news is that treating the hearing impairment with hearing aids cuts the risk to that of someone with normal hearing.
- Talking over puts your voice under: A study in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing found that 50% of teachers have permanent vocal cord damage. Why? Because they often have to speak over classrooms full of loud students.
Manatee Ear Center in Bradenton, Florida reminds you that there are actions you can take to minimize the damage of noise exposure. To learn more about how our services can help you hear better, call 941-745-1518 or request an appointment online.