When thinking of pollution, you don’t immediately think of noise, though this is in fact a type of pollution. In our everyday lives we are overloaded with an abundance of noises, most commonly typing on keyboards, music in shops, driving and conversations.
Millions of people globally listen to music on a daily basis, most at a volume higher than necessary. We are immersed in a deluge of noise from traffic to machinery to barking dogs.
Studies have shown that noise can be harmful both mentally and physically. Listening to loud music and continued exposure to certain types of machinery can damage the sensitive hairs in our inner ear and can lead to short-term, long-term or even permanent hearing loss / damage. Workers who have had prolonged exposure to loud machinery have been known to experience hearing loss.
Noise levels have also been associated with causing stress, which leads to the many stress-related illnesses such as headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, ulcers, anxiety and other disorders.
Noise also produces physical effects such as an elevation in blood pressure and increased heart rate. Noise affects us emotionally as well. It causes stress, tension and irritability.
In the modern society it is not easy to avoid stress and there is certainly no easy way to avoid noise. However; we can take steps to ensure that we get a little bit of peace and quiet in our lives. Close doors and windows to block out background noises from the street and traffic when necessary especially at night if noise makes it difficult to sleep. Turn down the volume when watching television or listening to music. If necessary wear earplugs or headphones to drown out noise in a work environment or even at home.
Get away from it all whenever you can. Whether it is for a day or a weekend, take a break and go somewhere to relax. Visit the country where all you hear are the sounds of nature.
This will be very beneficial and calming on the emotions and even your physical body can benefit. When you learn more about the effects of noise you may realize that silence really is golden.