Every good thing has a bad side. Take a look at urban development for example. Yes, progress has made life easier and more convenient for us. But it’s also true that it has put our health in jeopardy. Pollution – whether in the form of water, land or air – doesn’t only hurt the environment but can also make us sick.
There’s also this other type of pollution that’s been causing great harm to our health, without us realizing it. It’s called noise pollution, which is characterized by extremely high levels of noise that doesn’t only cause discomfort but also damage to the inner ear. Unfortunately, many people have become habituated to everyday noise that they don’t realize how seriously this can hurt their health.
The number one result of noise pollution is induced hearing loss. Other types of hearing loss are caused by underlying medical problems like diabetes or high blood pressure, but the induced type is caused by constant exposure to high frequency of noise or one-time exposure to excessively loud damaging noise. Exposure to noise above 85 decibels can damage your hearing in the long run.
People at risk are those who work in noisy environments (military, mining, construction, and manufacture industries), those who live in residential areas that are near train stations or major roads, and even musicians particularly rock stars.
The problem can be prevented by wearing ear plugs with noise reduction properties. This is especially true if you’re working in a noisy work area. Relocation or change in job may also be possible solutions. If you can’t get the noise out, get away from the noise, before you lose your hearing for good.
Sleep disorders such as insomnia and daytime sleepiness can also be caused by noise pollution, especially if you reside in an area that exposes you to excessive noise even at night. These disorders disrupt the normal sleeping pattern, interfering with the physical, mental, and emotional functioning of a person. It’s a well-known fact that good quality sleep is essential for good health. Without proper sleep, your mind and body will not able to recharge and rejuvenate. This can also lead to other serious diseases after some time.
If noise pollution is preventing you from getting a good night sleep, drown out the noise by wearing earplugs or listening to soothing music before you sleep. It would also help to install noise-proof shields inside your bedroom so that the outside noise won’t be able to penetrate. Relocating to a much peaceful neighborhood can also be a good idea.
You might think that noise isn’t doing any harm to you since you’re already habituated by it. But you’ll find yourself cranky, moody, and getting tired more easily. That’s because noise is a good source of stress. Stress is harmful to your health as it can bring about various kinds of health problems like hypertension, heart disease, and weakened immune system. It’s best to avoid the source of noise as much as possible. Use soft music or ear phones to drown out the noise. Avoid exposure to unnecessary noise when you’re at work or when you’re outside. Look for a quiet environment where you can give your ears and yourself a break.