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How Loud Noise Harms the Entire Body

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Loud noises – they don’t do a body good.

Everyone knows that excessive noise levels are bad for our hearing, but most people don’t realize the negative impact they can have on our overall health.

Hearing Associates in Mason City, Iowa reminds you that permanent hearing loss can occur when we’re exposed to noise levels of 85 decibels over eight hours. Louder sounds do irreversible damage more quickly – 100 decibels can threaten your hearing after just 15 minutes, while 110 decibels is an immediate cause of hearing loss. Remember, a normal conversation is about 50 decibels.

Here are some of the unexpected ways loud noises can negatively impact our health:

  1. Linked to mental health issues: Researchers have discovered that regular exposure to loud noises increases one’s risk of anxiety and depression by 200%. The exposure often leads to hearing loss, which doubles an individual’s chance of mental health problems if left untreated.
  2. Increased dementia risk: A study found that severe hearing loss causes a person to be five times more likely to develop dementia than a person with normal hearing. Even mild hearing impairment doubles one’s risk of dementia. Fortunately, treating the hearing loss with hearing aids cuts the risk down to that of a normally hearing individual.
  3. Bad for your heart: Because loud noises can elevate our blood pressure and affect our heartbeat, excessive sound levels are bad for our heart. A German study found that 3% of heart attacks stem from regular exposure to loud noises.
  4. Slows healing process: A study from the World Health Organization (WHO) discovered that loud hospitals can cause patients to recover from surgery and injuries more slowly. The noise from alarms, heart monitors, loud TVs and people talking loudly can reach up to 95 decibels. Sleep may also be affected, which is critical to healing.
  5. Hurts your vocal cords: Half of all teachers have permanent damage to their vocal cords after years of trying to speak over loud classrooms, according to one study published in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing.
  6. Increases healthcare costs: Another study by WHO found that people exposed to loud noise took more sick days, had trouble learning new things at work, were less productive in their jobs, and went to the doctor more often.

Remember, many of these health risks are significantly less severe if your hearing loss is treated. To learn more about services available at Hearing Associates locations in northern Iowa and Albert Lea, Minnesota, call us at 888.760.2032 or request an appointment online.