I had a visit today from a good friend who I have jammed with a lot. He's a professional keyboard player, singer and band and choir leader and gigs a lot plus plays at a number of jams cause he loves to play. We got on to the subject of the ones that we both have played at particularly the one on Friday nights which I have been a regular at for two years now. We were talking about how it is so loud because the guitar players all crank it up so much and I mentioned I have to sit in the back except when on stage because of it.
Then I mentioned how I'd love to be able to go there tonight for the St. Paddy's day Jam cause it promises to be really great, but just to be there and not to play. I still cannot stress my heart, lungs and ribs and it is way too early. He said, "Mike you'd better wait a while till you're well because Larry's jam is too loud and it could damage your heart". I had never heard such a thing and asked if loud music can do that to which he said that he had seen signs at some rock clubs with big amps and speakers with signs warning that loud music can be harmful for people with heart conditions.
So I just looked it up and sure enough found a number of articles saying basically what this one says:
Loud Noise Exposure Linked to Increased Risk for Heart
By Dr. Mercola
People who suffer from high*frequency hearing loss in both ears have typically been chronically exposed to loud noise, such as at work.
The National Institutes of Health even states that about 15 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high*frequency hearing loss related to noise exposure during occupational or leisure activities.1
While there are now government standards that regulate allowable noise exposures at work, prior to the mid*1960s no laws were in place to mandate the use of devices to protect hearing. Further, even with such laws in place, many people still suffer from noise*induced hearing loss.
In fact, excessive noise exposure is the most common cause of hearing loss in the US. Noise exposure isn't only damaging to your ears, however. It's also damaging to your heart.
Long*Term Exposure to Loud Noise Raises Your Risk of Heart Disease
People who suffer from high*frequency hearing loss in both ears have typically been chronically exposed to loud noise, such as at work
People who suffer from this type of hearing loss were twice as likely to have coronary heart disease compared to those with normal hearing
Bilateral high*frequency hearing loss among those aged 50 and under was associated with a four*fold increased risk of heart disease
Researchers with the University of Kentucky College of Public Health in Lexington analyzed data from more than 5,200 people ranging in age from 20 to 69.
Those who suffered from high*frequency hearing loss in both ears were twice as likely to also have coronary heart disease compared to those with normal hearing.2
The link was even stronger among those aged 50 and under, who were the age group most likely to be exposed to loud noise at work; bilateral high*frequency hearing loss in this age group was associated with a four*fold increased risk of heart disease.
Although the study can't prove that noise was directly related to heart disease, no such association was found among people with one*sided hearing loss or low*frequency hearing loss (which are less likely to be due to noise exposure).
This further strengthens the link between noise*induced hearing loss and heart disease.3
Noise Raises Stress Levels... A Key Risk Factor for Heart Disease
It might seem surprising that excessive, chronic noise exposure could harm your heart, but think about it in terms of stress.
It's estimated that 100 million people are exposed to unhealthy levels of noise, typically from automobile and aircraft traffic (although everything from leaf blowers and lawnmowers to loud music can also contribute).4
This is stressful, and when you're exposed to loud noise stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline become elevated. Over time, this can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, and heart failure.
One review of research showed that "arousal associated with nighttime noise exposure increased blood and saliva concentrations of these hormones even during sleep."5
Deepak Prasher, a professor of Audiology at University College in London and a member of the WHO Noise Environmental Burden of Disease working group, states:6
"Many people become habituated to noise over time... The biological effects are imperceptible, so that even as you become accustomed to the noise, adverse physiological changes are nevertheless taking place, with potentially serious consequences to human health.
... Taken together, recent epidemiologic data show us that noise is a major stressor that can influence health through the endocrine, immune, and cardiovascular systems."
The impact can be significant. Among women who judge themselves to be sensitive to noise, chronic noise exposure increased the risk of cardiovascular mortality by 80 percent!7 Chronic noise exposure also leads to health risks beyond your heart and hearing, such as diminished productivity, sleep disruption, impaired learning, and more.
How Much Noise Is Too Much for Your Heart?
The World Health Organization (WHO) Noise Environmental Burden of Disease working group calculated just how much noise exposure could be putting your heart at risk.
The "noise threshold" for heart problems was determined to be a chronic nighttime exposure of at least 50 A*-weighted decibels, which is the amount of noise created by light traffic.8
And according to research published in Environmental Health Perspectives, long*term exposure to traffic noise may account for approximately 3 percent of coronary heart disease deaths (or about 210,000 deaths) in Europe each year.9
This is an important point to consider, since those exposed to chronic traffic noise also tend to be chronically exposed to another heart health risk – air pollution.
Exposure to fine particle air pollution increased "thoracic aortic calcification" (TAC) scores, a measure of arterial hardening, by nearly 20 percent while exposure to noise pollution increased TAC by about 8 percent.10
This was after controlling for other variables that may influence heart health, such as age, gender, smoking, physical activity, alcohol use, and more. What this means is that people living in high*risk areas need to account for both types of pollution – air and noise – to protect their heart health. As researchers noted:11
"... [B]oth exposures seem to be important and both must be considered on a population level, rather than focusing on just one hazard."
Well, now I have to wonder if my playing and being at this jam for the past two years, usually from 11:30 to 3 a.m., sitting up close quite often as well as being on stage a lot as the only sax player there could have helped cause my recent heart attack. I only used ear plugs briefly because, as I posted, I found they blocked my hearing too much and then I lost one of them. And of course I have always had to use a paint peeler and play really loudly to carry past the wall of sound generated by the shredders and drummer.
Even more pertinent a question is if the gig I was at the night I had the attack could have precipitated it. Two main members of the band are old friends of mine from work and they are now gigging again. We were sitting at a booth right alongside the bandstand and it was really really loud there since they went all out and rocked non-stop and Matt, my drummer friend was the loudest making Phil Collins seem like a wimp. After the show ended I chatted a bit and then left and just when I had gotten to the sidewalk I had the heart attack. Later from the hospital I joked on FB with them that they had caused it, but I was just kidding. I had no idea that it could in fact have been a contributing factor.
Anyone have any knowledge about, experience with or comments on this. I think I need to know for when I finally can play again.