Vibroacoustic Disease, or VAD, is a chronic, progressive, cumulative, systemic disease. Exposure to high-intensity/low-frequency sound and infrasound can lead to Vibroacoustic Disease. Studies have shown that environments with high-intensity sound over 110 dB, coupled with low-frequency sounds below 100 Hz, place people at high risk for developing Vibroacoustic Disease. For example, Vibroacoustic Disease has been identified in disk jockeys, due to loud music exposure.
When exposed to high-intensity/low-frequency sound, which includes loud music, the body is subjected to powerful sound vibrations. This noise stressor leads to: homeostatic imbalance, disease, interference with behavior and performance, visual problems, epilepsy, stroke, neurological deficiencies, psychic disturbances, thromboembolism, central nervous system lesions, vascular lesions in most areas of the body, lung local fibrosis, mitral valve abnormalities, pericardial abnormalities, malignancy, gastrointestinal dysfunction, infections of the oropharynx, increased frequency of sister chromatid exchanges, immunological changes, cardiac infarcts, cancer, rage reactions, suicide, and altered coagulation parameters.

Infrasound exposure INCREASES the rate of development of Vibroacoustic Disease (VAD). "The evolution of VAD is classified by three stages based on years of noise exposure - mild (1-3 yr), moderate (4-9 yr) and severe (10-15 yr)."

"VAD is essentially characterized by a proliferation of extra-cellular matrix. This means that blood vessels can become thicker, thus impeding the normal blood flow. Within the cardiac structures, the parietal pericardium and the mitral and aortic valves also become thickened. The most recent VAD studies have been suggesting that infrasound exposure may be crucial to the rate of evolution of VAD. Occupational exposure to infrasound is suspected to cause an increase in the rate of thickening of the pericardium and cardiac valves in commercial airline pilots over that of flight attendants (Alves-Pereira et al, 1999)."
In addition, sources of low-frequency noise that place people at risk for developing Vibroacoustic Disease are rock concerts, dance clubs, "Powerful car audio equipment," water jet skies, and motorcycles. (Source: VIBROACOUSTIC DISEASE: THE NEED FOR A NEW ATTITUDE TOWARDS NOISE, by Mariana Alves-Pereira and Nuno Castelo Branco).

"Among the most serious on-the-job consequences of untreated VAD are rage-reactions, epilepsy, and suicide. VAD patients do not have the usual suicidal profile: after the event, if unsuccessful, they remember nothing, and are confused about the entire episode (Castelo Branco et al, 1999). Similarly, patients who suffer rage-reactions also appear confused and seem to remember nothing (Castelo Branco et al, 1999). These events can have dire consequences if they occur on the job. Not only can other individuals be injured, but also costly sophisticated equipment could become irreparably damaged." (Source - VIBROACOUSTIC DISEASE: THE NEED FOR A NEW ATTITUDE TOWARDS NOISE, by Mariana Alves-Pereira and Nuno Castelo Branco)

The stages of Vibroacoustic Disease are as follows:

Stage 1 - MILD (1-4 years) Slight mood swings, indigestion, heartburn, mouth/throat infections, bronchitis
Stage 2 - MODERATE (4-10 years) Chest pain, definite mood swings, back pain, fatigue, skin infections (fungal, viral, and parasitic), inflammation of stomach lining, pain and blood in urine, conjunctivitis, allergies.
Stage 3 - SEVERE (> 10 years) psychiatric disturbances, hemorrhages (nasal, digestive, conjunctive mucosa) varicose veins, hemorrhoids, duodenal ulcers, spastic colitis, decrease in visual acuity, headaches, severe joint pain, intense muscular pain, neurological disturbances. (Source - MONITORING VIBROACOUSTIC DISEASE, by Branco, Pimenta, Ferreira, and Alves -Pereira)

"After four years of exposure, the individual tends to recognize the existence of memory lapses, mood changes become more pronounced, and a variety of simultaneous ailments can appear. In the advanced stages, neurological disorders include epilepsy, balance disorders, and a marked increase in cognitive impairment. The palmo-mental reflex - a primitive reflex that is frequently present in several pathologies associated with cognitive deterioration - is a common feature in VAD patients. Facial dyskinesia triggered by auditory stimulus has also been identified in LFN-exposed workers." (Note: LFN is low-frequency noise).

Psychiatric disorders, such as suicidal tendencies and rage-reactions, are some of the most tragic consequences of unmonitored LFN exposure. Respiratory disorders appear within the first four years of exposure, and can progress into shortness of breath, and focal pulmonary fibrosis. This is independent of smoking habits." (Source - MONITORING VIBROACOUSTIC DISEASE, by Branco, Pimenta, Ferreira, and Alves-Pereira)

Studies have been done to see what effect vibrations have on the human body. As high-intensity/low-frequency sounds (extreme amplified bass) rattles a boom car, the occupants in it, secondary listeners, and structures surrounding it, this study is interesting to note. (WBV is Whole Body Vibration).

"Vibration is believed to cause a range of problems. These include:

· Disorders of the joints and muscles and especially the spine (WBV)
· Disorders of the circulation (hand-arm vibration)
· Cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, and metabolic changes (WBV)
· Problems in the digestive system (WBV)
· Reproductive damage in females (WBV)
· Impairment of vision and/or balance (WBV)
· Interference with activities
· Discomfort

The most frequently reported problem from all sources of WBV is low-back pain arising from early degeneration of the lumbar system and herniated lumbar disc. Muscular fatigue and stiffness have also been reported." (Source - ATSB - ROAD SAFETY REPORTS: HEAVY VEHICLE SEAT VIBRATION AND DRIVER FATIGUE)

The SUN AND WEEKLY HERALD ( recently interviewed Dr. Robert Fifer, the Director of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, at the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami. He discussed Vibroacoustic Disease and its relation to infrasound and boom cars. The article states, "But the physical vibration so prized by car audio fanatics, and despised by their victims, is largely produced by sounds pitched too low to hear, called subsonic or infrasonic sounds. Medical research over the past four decades shows that exposure to infrasound can have devastating effects on the human body and mind that go far beyond mere hearing loss."

The article goes on to discuss the fight-or-flight adrenaline response and how it is also triggered by LPALF (large pressure amplitude - low-frequency noise) or high-intensity/low-frequency sound. In other words, the fight-or-flight adrenaline response can be triggered by sounds you don't even hear!
At loud enough volumes, infrasound can "shake an object o bits the same way a soprano's high motes can shatter a wine class." (Source - INFRASOUND: I'M ALL SHOOK UP! - Sun and Weekly Herald,, 8/24/2003)

Listening to classical music, such as Mozart, can increase your IQ, heal the body, and increases brain development in babies. Classical music enhances abstract thinking. On the other hand, listening to loud, hard, grunge rock, rap, or new age music actually interferes with abstract thinking. Gansta/porno rap is a favorite choice for listeners addicted to loud, bass sounds. Gangsta/porno rap (for example, Eminem) and some acid or hard rock (Marilyn Manson) glorifies violence, suicide, illegal drug use, murder, killing police officers, rape, and promotes hatred against society, women, and the law.

Music AFFECTS and REFLECTS your state of mind. In addition, your behavior reflects your personality.

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