Everybody knows that noise can cause nuisance and can be very enjoyable.
The noises that cause nuisance and disturb your sleep pose the biggest danger for your health. Note that enjoying loud music at a concert risk in unrepairable hearing loss but it won’t affect your overall health too much.
Here are the main impact areas of noise nuisance:
Difficult to get your very much needed good sleep
Noise, especially when it’s being presented with high peak levels (short loud bursts of noise, e.g., passing car or music) will make it difficult to relax and get to sleep. If the noises are loud, they’ll even wake you up during your needed night rest. The hidden danger is that even if you don’t wake up from the noise, it still can be bad for your health. You need deep sleep, REM sleep to feel refreshed in the morning and your body needs rest during those stages of sleep. They can be disturbed by noise nuisance without waking you up.
Sleep disturbance by noise has long=term health consequences like diabetes, obesity, and the risk of heart disease.
Weakening your immune system
Noise nuisance won’t acutely influence your immune system, but it will lower your immunity. So, when you hear a loud car you won’t catch a cold straight away, but if it noises nuisance occurs regularly and you feel it as a heavy load, your wellbeing and immunity will be negatively affected.
Stress hormones will increase, and these can increase your blood pressure and blood sugar. If noise induces stress, your immunity will be lower, and your body will have more troubles to fighting off infections. Chronic health issues are linked to stress induces by noise nuisance are diabetes, increased blood pressure and stomach ulcers.
It can negatively influence your concentration
We all know that when we need to concentrate for studies or work, we prefer a nice and quiet environment. If you’re in a loud environment, it’ll be hard to keep concentrated and you’ll get frustrated as you can’t keep your focus on the task at hand.
People working in oen floor offices tend to remember fewer words than people working in a private office when giving a basic memory test. They also shared that they felt more tired than their counterparts working in a private office.
New evidence from WHO on health effects of traffic-related noise in Europe
The World Health Organization (WHO) is constantly working to create more awareness for the dangers of noise, even if the noise is not perceived as nuisance. After air pollution, noise pollution creates the most complaints and health issues. A recent study found that one in three persons in Europe experiences annoyance from noise during the daytime and one in five has their sleep disturbed from noise caused by road noise, rail noise, air traffic, neighbours, or entertainment venues. The WHO underwrites that noise nuisance is a contributing factor for cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure. (source)
NIHL is the most common health issue from being exposed to noise
NIHL (Noise Induces Hearing Loss) is still the most common health issue caused by noise. NIHL is irreversible and easily preventable, staying away from areas with high noise levels or protecting your ears with mufflers or earplugs may offer protection if you must be in a noisy environment.
Being exposed and unprotected at loud noise can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep disturbance and stress. These health problems can affect all age groups and especially children!
Noise, hidden danger
One of the problems with noise is that it’s not visible. It cannot be seen but its presence is there nonetheless, both on land an underwater (rivers, sea). In general noise pollution is unwanted and affects the health of human beings and other organisms.
Wildlife suffers from noise pollution
Noise pollution also impacts the health and well-being of wildlife. Studies have shown that loud noises can cause caterpillars’ dorsal vessels (the insect equivalent of a heart) to beat faster, and cause bluebirds to have fewer chicks. Animals use sound for a variety of reasons, including to navigate, find food, attract mates, and avoid predators. Noise pollution makes it difficult for them to accomplish these tasks, which affects their ability survive.
Also, mammals, fish in the ocean are affected. Ships, oil drills, sonar devices, and seismic tests have made the once tranquil marine environment loud and chaotic. Whales and dolphins are particularly impacted by noise pollution. These marine mammals rely on echolocation to communicate, navigate, feed, and find mates, and excess noise interferes with their ability to effectively echolocate.
Protect yourself against noise
Take care of your health, protect yourself from noisy environments. Make sure you can get undisturbed sleep, so you feel fresh and strong. Many organisations are working on creating more awareness on the dangers of noise, but it’ll take time before this gets into worldwide protective legislation to protect citizens of all countries.
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