4 Health Effects of Noise Exposure
While some noise is inevitable and unavoidable, there are many benefits to reducing long-term exposure in home and work environments. Whether you use dual wheel shock absorbing casters, a white noise machine or some other method to lower sound, here are four health effects of noise exposure.
Excessive exposure to noise is harmful to the inner ear, and hearing loss occurring from this can be either gradual or sudden. Hearing loss due to noise can be made worse when the threshold of hearing becomes higher, leading the individual with hearing loss to need a sound to be louder and louder in order to hear the sound. There are three kinds of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed.
Exposure to loud noise can cause tinnitus, or ringing in one or both of the ears. Constant ringing in the ears is very frustrating and can lead to difficulty with concentrating and sleeping. In addition to ringing, people describe tinnitus as a clicking, humming, or buzzing sound in the ears. Working in a noisy environment is a known risk factor of tinnitus, and there is no known cure.
High Blood Pressure
Noise pollution negatively affects the cardiovascular system, including heart rate and blood pressure. Studies show a correlation between listening to traffic noise and an increase in blood pressure, or hypertension. Hypertension is known as a “silent killer” since many people with this condition do not have any symptoms while their high blood pressure is silently damaging their heart.
Decreased Mental Health
Chronic exposure to noise can cause people to feel on edge or irritable, increasing their risk of anxiety or depression. In addition, noise that impacts getting a good night’s sleep can lead to lower mental health outcomes resulting from chronic insomia.
Negative health effects of noise exposure are good reasons to abate or eliminate noise in your environment when possible.