Think of the noises that drive you crazy: a barking dog, a screaming child or road construction. Not only can these sounds bother you, but constant exposure can also impact your health. We review what noise pollution is, where it comes from, how it can impact you and how you can avoid it below.
What Is Noise Pollution?
Noise pollution is excessive noise that interferes with daily activities and harms human health, reports the World Health Organization. It is sometimes referred to as the “modern unseen plague.”
Where Does Noise Pollution Come From?
Everyone experiences different types of noise pollution from different sources, depending on where they live, where they work and what their hobbies are. Some common sources of noise pollution include:
- Construction sites
- Industrial machinery
- Power tools
- House parties
What Are the Impacts of Noise Pollution?
Some of the impacts of noise pollution include:
- Noise-induced hearing loss. Within the inner ears is the cochlea, which is lined with tiny hair cells called stereocilia that convert soundwaves into electrical energy the brain interprets as sound. When dangerously loud sounds pass through the ears, it can damage or destroy the stereocilia, which do not regenerate. The result is permanent sensorineural hearing loss.
- Tinnitus. In addition to noise-induced hearing loss, damage to the stereocilia can cause them to misfire, causing a phantom ringing sound in the ears known as tinnitus.
- Elevated stress. Think back to those sounds that bother you. Do they cause stress? If you live in a noisy place like the city, you’re exposed to bothersome sounds all day and, in many cases, all night. This can lead to the release of stress hormones, causing all sorts of other complications, including on metabolism and immune system function.
- Sleep disturbances. If noise pollution is keeping you up at night or waking you throughout the night, it can lead to daytime symptoms like irritability and poor work/school performance.
How Can I Reduce Noise Pollution?
You can reduce some noise pollution by:
- Investing in appliances with low decibel outputs.
- Repairing or replacing old machinery/automobiles.
- Keeping the volume of the TV and music players low.
- Soundproofing your home.
- Creating quiet time.
- Wearing hearing protection when at sporting events at Holman Stadium.
- Wearing noise-cancelling headphones when traveling.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Aaron's Hearing Aid & Audiology Center today.