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: World's first wearable blue LED light therapy device to treat skin disease psoriasis vulgaris

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA scientists listen to data

Sep 05, 2014

Robert Alexander spends parts of his day listening to a soft white noise, similar to water falling on the outside of a house during a rainstorm. Every once in a while, he hears an anomalous sound and marks ...

Avatars make the Internet sign to deaf people

Aug 29, 2014

It is challenging for deaf people to learn a sound-based language, since they are physically not able to hear those sounds. Hence, most of them struggle with written language as well as with text reading ...

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. ...

Recommended for you

Motion capture examines dance techniques

Sep 29, 2014

WAAPA dance students are set to take part in a world-first biomechanical study that tracks their training, technique and injuries as they develop as professional performers.

User comments : 0