Cicada sounds could damage hearing

Jun 08, 2007

Experts say the piercing mating call of the 17-year cicadas, which have taken parts of the Chicago area by storm, could cause damage to the ears of humans.

Some areas thick with the periodical insects can experience mating calls in excess of 90 decibels -- about as loud as a bulldozer -- and that sound can cause physical and psychological strain in humans, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Billy Martin, a hearing scientist at Oregon Health and Science University and director of Dangerous Decibels, a public health campaign designed to reduce noise-induced hearing loss, said long-term exposure to the sound can cause hearing loss, anxiety, aggravation and high blood pressure.

"Loud sound is very stressful, especially if the sound is annoying and loud," Martin said. "It's the double whammy and cicadas, for the most part, are both."

John Cooley, a University of Connecticut entomologist, said hot sunny days like Thursday encourage the cicadas.

"If you have a period of cool, rainy days like this and you get a hot sunny day, they'll just come roaring out," he said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The technological search for MH370's black box

Mar 31, 2014

As the effort to find Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 moves inexorably towards the recovery stage, the challenge of finding the plane's flight recorder (called the "black box" even though it's actually bright orange) on the ocean fl ...

Detecting gravitational waves at your desk

Mar 24, 2014

Physics is on the front pages of newspapers around the world. This time it is because of the announcement made by a team of scientists who seem to have found indirect evidence for the existence of "primord ...

Researchers explore meaning behind dog barks

Mar 19, 2014

Dogs—they're loyal, loving, and always there to lend an ear when you need it most. But when it comes to understanding their vocalizations—let's just say it can get lost in translation.

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...