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Hearing Damage Due to Sound Pollution

Hearing Damage Due to Sound Pollution

From the moment we enter this world we are exposed to the loud, vibrant sounds that surround us each day. Be it the chirping of the birds or the buzzing of the bees, we are constantly exposed to various sounds throughout our lives. Some sounds, however, are not only unpleasant; they can also damage our hearing permanently. These sounds are considered as “noise” and tend to refer to any sound that is displeasing to our ears. Noise pollution is actually considered to be an environmental problem, much like air pollution.

Thanks to modern technology and an abundance of electronic appliances, we are constantly bombarded with excessively loud levels of sound. Even our pet dog’s bark, the sounds made by the lawn mower or snow blower can be classified as noise pollution. The World Health Organization reports that some metropolitan cities are currently a considerable threat to human health due to increased noise pollution.

Noise pollution may not seem as dangerous as other visible forms of pollution, but it is equally dangerous. Excessive amounts of noise over a period of time can result in tinnitus or even permanent hearing loss. Any noise exceeding the limit of 85 dB is considered to be unsafe and can damage hearing if exposure time is prolonged. Unfortunately, noises that exceed this limit occur every single day, be it our neighborhood garbage truck that emits a hefty 100 dB, or the siren of an ambulance that can reach up to an alarming 120 dB.

People living in quiet neighborhoods may also be prone to noise pollution when they attend sporting events or musical concerts. Each of these events exceeds the safe limit of sound at 80 dB and puts you at risk of developing hearing loss.

Given the considerable dangers posed by noise pollution, it is important to know how to protect yourself from hearing damage. Ear protection is one of the most basic forms of protecting your hearing. You can invest in an economically viable pair of earplugs to protect your ears from any loud noises. You can also take steps to avoid noisy, crowded environments during rush hour by leaving for work early. You can listen to your personal audio device at lower volume levels. When working with power tools, make sure you wear earmuffs to prevent any hearing damage.

Our world is full of loud, vibrant, and sometimes unpleasant sounds which we cannot always avoid. Hearing loss is an irreversible condition and is caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises. It is therefore our responsibility and our right to protect our own hearing and prevent any damage so that we can enjoy the world of sound for all our days to come.