Blaring car horns, way too loud headphones, ear-splitting ambulance sirens—you can’t escape noise pollution in everyday life. Unfortunately, all this auditory hubbub can take a toll on your hearing—and health—over time.
To draw attention to this pressing public health issue, in 1996, the Center for Hearing and Communication established April 26 as International Noise Awareness Day, making now a great time to learn more about the dangers of noise pollution.
How Noise Hurts Your Auditory System
Your ear contains tiny hair cells that help you hear. Listening to noises that are too loud or that go on for too long can permanently damage these cells, leading to irreversible hearing loss.
Even brief exposure to noises at everyday volumes through the years can add up, and if you live, work or play in loud environments, your risk of hearing loss is likely greater.
Another downside? Noise can also contribute to tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
How Noise Harms Your Overall Health
Heart rate—Noise exposure has been shown to increase heart rates.1
Blood pressure—Living in noisy communities can result in higher blood pressure.2
Sleep changes—Noise can disrupt your sleep, even if it doesn’t force you fully awake. Not getting enough sleep can contribute to serious health issues.3
Decreased performance at school—An excessively loud and reverberating classroom can lead to students missing up to 25% of the information their teacher presents.4
The good news? While hearing loss from loud noise is permanent, it’s also preventable. Make a plan to cut through the noise—contact Hearing Focused at (262) 679-8888. We offer custom ear protection, thorough audiological testing, new hearing aids and counseling for total patient satisfaction.
1 Norton, A. (n.d.). Everyday noise levels may affect the heart. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/heart/news/20130509/everyday-noise-levels-may-affect-the-heart
2 Seidman, M. et al. (2010). Noise and quality of life. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2996188/
3 National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. (2022). What are sleep deprivation and deficiency? https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/sleep-deprivation
4 Center for Hearing and Communication. (n.d.). The impact of noise on childhood cognitive development. https://noiseawareness.org/info-center/classroom-acoustics/