My heart was racing fast. I could hear ringing in my ears. I felt my body vibrating. I could hardly think.
Had I just fallen in love? Not quite.
I was still suffering from the after-effects of spending an hour in a high-noise environment – a sidewalk in a busy city center with loud music playing in the background, engine noise and incessant horn blowing from passing vehicles and loud raucous talk from passersby.
This is the state of our environment, especially in the metropolis, that we are subjected to everyday. Sadly, we hardly notice that such a problem actually exists.
This experience motivated me to ask about the state of our noise pollution and noise habits. How does it affect us? What can we do to avoid its repercussions?
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), noise is defined as any disturbing or unwanted sound. Unlike other forms of pollution, noise is hardly seen or felt and so we are often unaware of its effects on us. But the sad fact is that over exposure to noise pollution can lead to serious major side effects.
Here’s a shocking fact that you ought to know: Aging is not actually the leading cause of hearing loss, noise pollution is.
But aside from hearing loss, excessive noise has been associated with other serious health concerns that include high blood pressure, heart diseases, stress-related medical issues like ulcers, colitis, and migraine, and sleep disturbances.
Noise pollution has also been linked to emotional problems that include aggression, fatigue and anxiety. All these could be avoided if we practice these 10 habits in fighting noise pollution:
- Assess the level of noise in your home or workplace throughout the day. Stop for a short while. Listen to the sound around you. What can be minimized or eliminate? Perhaps, the clicking sound from a broken faucet.
- Limit your exposure to noise by avoiding places with excessive noise.
- If you find yourself raising your voice when talking with someone, it should give you an idea that noise pollution is starting to take toll on you.
- If you work in an environment where the noise cannot be removed or minimized, you can protect yourself from the ill-effects of noise pollution by wearing ear muffs or ear plugs. If you expect to be in a high-noise environment, don’t forget to bring noise-cancelling plugs.
- Give your ears a break. Spend at good thirty minutes quiet sound. Others stay in a silent room.
- Choose soft music and avoid loud, raucous tracks. As for me, I’d rather play soft music on my digital piano instead of drums. I recommend you check out some nice models at https://digitalpianojudge.com/.
- As much as possible, turn down volume on portable music players, TVs, and other audio systems. The lower the volume, the better!
- Go for appliances with low noise ratings. Check the label and see how much decibels the appliance produces.
- Protect children from excessive noise. Children are particularly at risk of developing major side effects from over-exposure to noise. Teach children how they can care about their ears and avoid unnecessary noise.
- Stay away from noise. If you can avoid noisy environment, much better. Look for places where there is not much noise.