Is Sleeping with white noise bad for your hearing?

White noises are clearly noises no matter what they are called. These noises are produced from various things and equipments that people use or come across in their daily lives. They can be electronic devices that are otherwise innocent to look, used in both personal and professional settings. Or they can be certain devices and instruments that play repeated patterns of sounds to promote relaxation or provide privacy. Nevertheless, white noises are harmful – for both children and adults – and here are some reasons for this assertion.

White noise machines used for soothing souls produce frequencies that are not normally heard. You have gathered your favorite sound equipment. You have created a comfortable place to spend the night. Now the real trouble begins. People who are exposed to this noise on a daily basis are made to hear potentially dangerous volume levels. This may seem less serious for some. The truth is, the noise of this magnitude will delay brain development, according to a report in Journal Science. Edward F. Chang and Michael M. Merzenich are the two researchers who have studied the harmful effects of being exposed to white noise for a prolonged time. They say that the section of the brain responsible for hearing will not develop normally, especially in kids, until these white noises are removed, which is indeed a scary finding.

White noise machines are notorious for masking tinnitus symptoms. This study has been proved by National Institutes of Health as well. Individuals who are often exposed to white noises don’t realize that they have this problem until they are actually off the machine for an extended period. In addition, not treating tinnitus on time will result in larger problems such as anemia and high blood pressure. Also, prolonged exposure to white noises sometimes make individuals unable to perceive the location or direction of the sounds according to an article in Cerebral Cortex magazine. The researchers who came with this conclusion found that white noises damaged neurons in the auditory cortex that are meant for spatial sensitivity. In fact, if it is difficult for anyone to estimate the distance or location from where the sound came from, it is also difficult for them to cope with their daily lives when the problem becomes more serious.

So, the answer to whether sleeping with white noises is bad for your hearing or not is yes, it’s definitely bad.