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What Is Noise Pollution and Is It Real?

What Is Noise Pollution and Is It Real?

Noise pollution can be anywhere and poses health risks to your hearing and mental health.

Sound is an odd thing. It is a subjective measure that determines when sound becomes either music or noise. It is also a personal measure whether one is even aware of an otherwise annoying din. How is it that a faintly ticking clock can annoy one person in a quiet room, while the play of ten children is on mental mute for a father reading a book? The term “noise pollution” has been around since the 1970s, but what does it mean, and is it real? If it is, what can someone do about it?

Noise Pollution

If pollution is a substance that harms an environment, noise pollution consists of sound that produces a deterioration of people’s health. Not only can this include sounds that are above 85 decibels that can cause hearing loss, but ambient sounds that hum quietly throughout the day (or constant, louder sounds) that produce psychological distress. There is value in silence, and with more and more machines around us, quiet is hard to come by. 

In the Home

In the home, for example, noise can come in the form of the television, computer, phone, or tablet. There are endless devices that can stream music, shows, podcasts, and more into our home. While all these aural products have their good purpose, to have them constantly running can cause psychological distress or even hearing loss over time. If one listens through earbuds, the volume could deteriorate hearing over time also. Other sounds in the home that can reduce hearing include kitchen appliances like blenders, home appliances like fans and washing machines, and hair dryers. These machines can blast at decibels higher than is safe.

Possible Damages

As mentioned before, noise pollution can supposedly cause mental and physical health problems. Our current understanding of hearing, as well as studies and examples in history, show these two consequences to be real. If sound waves over 85 dBA hit the tiny hairs in our inner ears that conduct sounds to the brain, they can be damaged beyond repair. This type of hearing loss is called noise-induced hearing loss

Meanwhile, studies have shown how children in a noisier environment may have a harder time learning than students in a quiet environment. They have also revealed that adults exposed to noise for a long time can have a higher risk for cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, and even depression. 

How to Reduce It

The best ways to protect oneself from noise pollution at home is to keep away from loud noises, use earplugs, and use carpeting, furniture, and foliage to damper sounds. 

Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions

Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.

Come in for a walk-in appointment on Tuesdays & Fridays from 10:00 am to 11:30 am or contact us to schedule an appointment by calling 410-698-6594 or visiting our contact page. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn for more blog posts, news, and updates!

This entry was posted on Friday, January 24th, 2020 at 11:53 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.