The background buzz of white noise from hair dryers and television static could cause you to age faster and damage your brain, a new study has suggested.
Scientists found that white noise, even if it is not loud, speeds up the ageing process of a person’s brain by breaking down certain chemical messengers
They said while many use it to help them nod off, the background buzz of white noise from hairdryers could harm a person’s brain by breaking down some of its chemical messengers.
The study published in the journal, JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, said white noise may reduce a brain’s ability to adapt to incoming information, even though it helps to mask background sounds,
The researchers reviewed animals studies, and believed that these same affects may occur when a human is exposed to white noise.
“Increasing evidence shows that the brain rewires in a negative manner when it is fed random information, such as white noise,” study author Mouna Attarha, from the University of Iowa, said.
The study concluded that both white noise and tinnitus speed up the ageing process of the brain, and the former should not be recommended as a treatment for hearing condition.
Although the results may appear disconcerting, the effects of white noise have not yet been investigated in humans
Medical experts often recommend white noise for tinnitus patients to cover up the incessant ringing they hear. Tinnitus occurs due to a person’s brain being unable to filter the different sounds being picked up by their ears.
It causes sufferers to hear high-pitched whines, and may also occur due to patients’ brains taking longer to interpret the different stimuli being picked up by their ears, with their brains also misinterpreting these signals.