Polluted by Noise: When Silence is an Oasis

The roar of a car engine coming to life. Howling dogs and screeching cats. Airplanes are flying above. Karaoke blasting through the air at the worst possible time; in the middle of the night. The hustle and bustle of construction throughout the day. These are all relatively familiar, everyday sounds and occurrences.

But do you know that they all constitute noise pollution?

Maybe you’re wondering if noise pollution is even a real thing, and we’d like you to know that it most definitely is. It’s an invisible danger that is always present, all around us.

There’s a reason informative websites like www.silenthomehub.com have been gaining traction as of late, with their guides on how to soundproof walls and which household appliances will remain as silent as possible.

sound-pollution

Noise Pollution can get worse after all and looking for ways to combat it these days are essential.

What is Noise Pollution?

So before anything, it would be best to define what it is we’re trying to fight clearly.

It’s unwanted or even disturbing sounds that affect the well-being of humans and other beings on the planet. Scientifically speaking, it’s sounds that reach higher than 85 decibels (the metric that we use to measure sound), that can harm a person’s ears.

And the thing is, a lot of things fit that description from deafening and powerful engines to subway trains to live concerts. It’s everywhere, and that can be a real problem. People have a tendency not to focus on it, to disregard it since it’s an “invisible” kind of pollution, and that there are other more pressing and more obvious forms of pollution.

We really shouldn’t look at it that way. We should take it as seriously as possible.

It’s precisely because we don’t see it as much of a problem that it’s been getting worse and worse for people and their environment.

So how does Noise Pollution affect us exactly? Let’s dive right into it.

Hearing Problems

One of the most apparent effects of prolonged exposure to terrible noise pollution is that you can develop hearing problems. High-intensity sound waves can trigger unnecessary ripples in your ear canal, disturbing the fluid within that helps with the communication between the ear and the brain.

This disturbance destroys the hair follicles within your ears that act as a kind of receptor of information that alerts the brain that sound is entering.

Once these are damaged, and if you let it get so bad that you lose 50% of your hairs inside there, hearing loss is suddenly a very high probability. Unless you’re comfortable with turning to hearing devices, whether you’re a kid or you’re in your 30s, you should make sure you’re always careful.

And this isn’t even counting the non-damaging effect of noise pollution can have on ordinary, everyday conversations. Have you tried talking to someone while there’s traffic blaring outside? Sitting at a café, trying to talk about your day when the rest of the world is talking loudly? And with the use of masks and shields these days, it’s even doubly harder to understand each other.

These are a hindrance to our everyday lives that we’ve ignored and just accepted as part of our routine. And honestly, it really shouldn’t be. Not by a mile.

Can’t Sleep, Can’t Think, Irate!

Another aspect that you wouldn’t think would be affected by Noise Pollution, at least at first glance, would be your mental prowess. Studies have shown that Noise Pollution can make people more irate, nervous, generally uneasy and irrational when it comes to decision making.

It can even get so bad that it will start to affect your personality. You can become socially aloof, unproductive at work and without concentration and emotionally unstable.

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It can also play into and affect your nightly sleep. If noises keep you up at night regularly, you can be sure that it will make your time awake quite bad. You’ll get tired more quickly, you’ll be more irate, and there’s a good chance you give up on a lot of what you’re supposed to do that day.

That’s a lot from something supposedly “not that dangerous.” People genuinely underestimate Noise Pollution, especially because it’s an invisible problem. If it can affect you so much so that your personality could take a turn for the worse, you should give it the attention it deserves.

Your Heart Can Hear It

Did you know that what you hear can affect your heart?

It isn’t just hearing the words like “I love you” Or “Let’s Break Up” Or “We have some terrible news” That can get your heart rate up and affect it negatively. Studies have shown that being exposed to noise pollution for ten consecutive years or more raises your chances of suffering from one of the many cardiovascular diseases later in life.

By how much?

By up to 300%!

Pulse rates go up, which cause constriction of blood vessels, making you more vulnerable to heart attacks or high blood pressure. That’s the effect of being exposed to high noise levels. Imagine being exposed to that for more than 8 hours a day. Things can get much, much worse.

What Can We Do About It?

If your health has already been compromised by noise pollution, then one of the first things you can do is find ways to help yourself out. Don’t be afraid to invest in hearing aids and whatever else your doctor may prescribe you.

It’s not your fault, after all.

If you’re lucky enough not to have gone that far yet, being informed is already half the battle. Knowing the negative health impacts of noise pollution is already a big step forward. And from there you can do things like learning how to make your everyday life, and the physical world around it, a little bit more anti-noise pollution.

Just be aware, and do what you can to both reduce and avoid, the wrong kind of noise.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com
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One Response to Polluted by Noise: When Silence is an Oasis

  1. Pingback: Features of a Green Building | EcoMENA

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