Binaural beats are often recognized for their ability to reduce stress and anxiety levels, boost relaxation and meditation, and improve positivity and mood. There’s even a possibility that binaural beats can impact the release of hormones and chemicals within the body. Just like any therapeutic method, negative side effects are possible.
So, what are the negative effects of binaural beats? Though negative effects are rare, there’s always a possibility that you’ll develop emotional, mental, or physical side effects from listening to binaural beats. The potential effects may include hallucinations, affected mental status, hearing damage, and even seizures.
Of all the side effects you may experience after listening to binaural beats, the emotional and mental effects are most worrisome. In this first section, we’ll go over the emotional and mental effects of listening to binaural beats.
Emotional & Mental Effects
When you’re listening to binaural beats, the frequency you’re listening to will activate a certain type of brainwave within your brain. Though this is required for binaural beats to work effectively, this can also prove detrimental to your mental and emotional health.
The greatest concerns related to emotional and mental health are interactions with a variety of medications, the risk of hallucinations, and the concept of altering your brainwaves. Take a look at how binaural beats can seriously impact you.
Will it interfere with Medication?
Not all medications will interact with binaural beats. But, if you’re on medications for anxiety, depression, or any other mental health condition, you should be wary of listening to binaural beats.
The main concern is the worsening of your symptoms. Right now, your medication is helping to control the chemicals, hormones, and waves within your brain.
When you listen to binaural beats, you’re actively adjusting the waves in your brain. You might be triggering your body to perform specific tasks and functions under your own control.
If your medication is currently working and reducing the signs and symptoms of your disorder, you could be reversing the positive effects of your medication by altering your active brainwaves.
There are no guarantees that your medication will interact with binaural beats, but you should consult your doctor if you’re worried about this possibility.
Does listening produce hallucinations & psychedelic effects?
Having hallucinations and psychedelic effects when listening to binaural beats is pretty rare. For the most part, you’ll only experience these effects by listening to binaural beats in the gamma frequencies.
There are a few concerns that come along with hallucinations and psychedelic effects.
- Feeling that you’re experiencing psychosis
- Effects may last long after the hallucinations are over
- Could be frightening
- Concern that you’re “trapped” in the hallucination
In reality, there aren’t many concerns about hallucinations on their own. They generally do not lead to long-term effects but can be pretty scary in the moment. If you’re not expecting to have a hallucination, it can be rather traumatic to have one.
Will it alter my brainwaves
Yes, the entire purpose of listening to binaural beats is altering your active brainwaves.
So, why is that a negative effect?
When you’re intentionally changing your active brainwaves, you’re giving yourself more control of your body than you normally have. It’s possible that you enjoy this sort of control, but it can also be viewed as negative.
The greatest concern with altering your brainwaves is that you’re keeping your brain from acting as it normally would. By intentionally triggering certain brainwaves, you’re preventing other types of brainwaves from becoming active.
Your body is capable of controlling your brain on its own and there’s generally no need for you to get involved in the process.
Are there any physical effects
The physical effects you may experience from listening to binaural beats are much rarer than mental and emotional effects. That’s because binaural beats only really impact the brain and its functioning.
By intentionally changing the triggering of your brainwaves, you’re basically playing with fire. It’s important to remember that the brain controls the rest of the body. That’s why you may experience serious physical side effects like a sick feeling, hearing loss, or seizures.
Will it make me feel sick?
When you mess around with your brainwaves, you’re directly impacting the functioning of your mind. Normally, there isn’t a concern with this and you won’t feel sick after listening to binaural beats.
However, there’s a greater risk of developing a generally sick feeling after listening to some high-frequency sounds.
Here are some side effects you might experience while listening to binaural beats at higher frequencies.
If you notice that you’re experiencing these side effects as a result of listening to binaural beats, there are a few things you can do.
The first suggestion would be targeting binaural beats at lower frequency levels. This can help you determine whether or not it was the actual frequency that was causing these effects.
You can also try to limit how long and how often you listen to binaural beats. The issue might be that you’re overexposing yourself to higher frequency sounds and you might have a bit of a sensitivity to sound.
Can I get a seizure from listening to binaural beats?
Seizures are not a common side effect of listening to binaural beats in most people, but it is more likely in those that already have a medical history that includes seizures.
When people think of seizures, they usually think of visual stimuli. For the most part, the assumption is that flashing and bright lights can trigger a seizure in those with a history of having seizures.
In all actuality, seizures can also be triggered by sounds as well. That means you could be more susceptible to having a seizure with certain frequencies and decibel levels.
Though you might not have a diagnosed seizure disorder, there’s a possibility that you have an underlying seizure condition that has yet to be triggered. With that said, monitor your mind and body while listening to binaural beats.
Will it damage my hearing?
For the most part, hearing damage isn’t much of a concern when it comes to listening to binaural beats. People usually associate hearing damage and hearing loss with frequent exposure to very loud sounds.
But there is a risk when it comes to higher frequency sounds as well.
By listening to high-frequency sounds repeatedly and for an extended period of time, you’re increasing your risk of experiencing temporary or even permanent hearing loss.
Here’s what you should do.
- Listen to binaural beats at lower frequencies first to determine whether or not your hearing is affected by low-frequency sounds.
- Begin listening to higher frequency sounds after you’ve determined your hearing is unaffected by the lower frequencies.
- Immediately stop listening to binaural beats if you notice ringing in the ears or hearing loss after listening.
This is perhaps the most common negative effect that occurs by listening to binaural beats irresponsibly. To prevent hearing damage, the best thing you can do is limit your exposure to high-frequency sounds whenever possible.
Binaural beats are considered a generally safe therapeutic method, but there’s a lingering concern when it comes to the mental, emotional, and physical side effects that may result. If you’re worried about experiencing negative side effects, here’s some advice on how to listen to binaural beats.
- Don’t listen to binaural beats if you’re on medications for mental health conditions.
- Immediately stop listening to binaural beats if you feel ill or begin to hallucinate.
- Don’t listen to binaural beats if you have a seizure disorder or history of seizures.
- Listen to binaural beats cautiously and avoid long-term exposure to high-frequency sounds.