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: Indian yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar dies at 95

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ear to the ground on shark sense

Jul 07, 2014

Research into how sharks hear is set to become the latest tactic to better understand and help prevent fatal shark attacks in Australian waters.

Time to watch out for SMS worms on Android devices

Jul 01, 2014

Google's Android now dominates 80% of the smart phone market. Of the major phone operating systems, Android is the most vulnerable to security breaches and yet perceptions haven't caught up with reality. ...

Sublime design of the PB/5 pedestrian button

Jun 30, 2014

We are more likely to thump this instantly recognisable design, on a daily basis, than to give it much thought. The PB/5 pedestrian button, a type of "Audio-Tactile Pedestrian Detector" (ATPD), is a successful ...

Hard of herring? Not us, say crabs (Update)

Jun 18, 2014

In new research published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Northeastern University professor Randall Hughes and her team at the Marine Science Center in Nahant, Mass. are the first to sho ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0