From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed at night, our ears are subjected to various levels of sound, whether we are aware of it or not. Most of the time, the sounds we hear are filtered out so that we only pay attention to the sounds we need to respond to. The problem is that the noisier our world gets, the more noise pollution occurs and the higher our chances are of getting hearing loss.
Hearing loss causes a number of problems apart from impaired hearing. We encounter problems like dementia, injuries due to falling down, and depression. Losing our hearing is a gradual process, which is why it can take years before we actually realize that we have a hearing problem.
When we think of noise pollution, we often ignore the more obvious culprits. It’s not only rock concerts or noisy crowds that cause noise pollution; it is also power tools and daily household gadgets. The simple blender and hair dryer is also a source of noise pollution. So are the barking dogs as well as the children who cry and scream. Our air conditioners and televisions are yet another source of noise pollution in our daily environment.
Noise pollution is a daily occurrence for those who work in noisy industries such as mining, construction, manufacturing, and even in the music industry. We do not think of weddings and parties as noisy, but they truly add the crazy humdrum of everyday life. The chatter of everyday conversations of millions of people across the world constantly raises the noise pollution as well.
We build empires, but that costs us not only our natural environment but adds to the clatter and clanging sounds that cause noise pollution. We encounter noise each day, even in our sleep. Be it the ceiling fan or the ticking of the clock, every little bit adds to our daily load.
Over time, this exposure to loud levels of sound can lead to the deterioration of the delicate hair follicles within your inner ear. Once these follicles become damaged, they do not regenerate. This can lead to permanent hearing loss.
Exposure to noise pollution leads to problems such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, anxiety and insomnia. These problems are also found in those with hearing loss, thereby indicating a link between hearing loss and these various health problems.
We cannot escape the noisy world we live in, but we can take steps to safeguard our hearing. We can take simple measures that go a long way in reducing noise pollution and protecting our ears. Turn down the volume on your audio and video devices. Wear noise cancelling headphones while listening to music. Always wear earplugs or earmuffs before exposing yourself to noisy environments. Give your ears a well-deserved rest after exposing them to a night of loud music.
Sounds that exceed 85dB are known to be unsafe and can lead to hearing loss over time. Limit your exposure to unnecessary levels of loud noise and encourage others in your family to practice safe listening habits such as the ones mentioned above. A few simple precautions can help protect your ears for all your years to come.
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