A study evaluation by the research association “Noise & Health” on behalf of the WHO shows:In people who by noise under insomnia suffer the risk of increased allergies , heart disease, high blood pressure and migraines considerably. In addition to seeing, hearing is another important sensory organ, because hearing is essential for our social interaction.
Sense of hearing in a noisy environment
Those who hear poorly can also communicate poorly with others. This restricts the ability to establish and maintain social contacts. Loneliness and isolation can threaten. The sense of hearing also warns and alerts us when dangers arise.
But: The hearing is threatened, because our environment is no longer quiet these days. Road traffic noise, aircraft noise even the omnipresent commercial or neighborhood noise can be heard on our ears. In the meantime, noises hit us almost around the clock – and that can make us sick in the long run.
Noise as a double danger
A distinction must be made between two dangers, namely damage to the hearing itself and the psychological effects of constant exposure to noise. The facts speak for themselves : tinnitus and hearing loss have become widespread illnesses. The worrying thing about it: 15 percent of young people already hear as poorly as 50-year-olds. Every year there are 6,000 new cases of “noise-related hearing loss”, which are recognized as an occupational disease.
The psychological consequences are sometimes even more far-reaching:
Lack of concentration
high blood pressure
Learning disabilities in children
and further consequences up to a heart attack
Effect of noise
The pathogenic effects of noise are not as easy to assess as in the case of an infectious disease, for which the cause has been found and can be proven with a pathogen finding. The health-impairing effects of noise – apart from hearing damage – are usually a long, difficult to understand process that can be influenced by numerous other factors.
What is noise actually?
We can close our eyes – our ears cannot. Avoiding noise is therefore not always easy. Noise is an undesirable, uncomfortable or harmful sound. Sound as a physical quantity can be precisely measured – but noise is a very individual matter. Quantities such as sensitivity and the internal assessment of what is perceived as noise play a decisive role.
It is also important whether the noise occurs permanently or whether it only patters our hearing temporarily. The pain threshold for our ears is 120 decibels, but street noise of around 80 decibels can make you sick in the long run.
Peace and quiet – not easy to find
A constantly high level of noise in the living environment is a risk factor for many physical complaints. Continuous exposure to noise also has social consequences: Noise can lead to sleep disorders, which in turn affect performance at work or at school. Noise on busy streets also disrupts communication in the family or with neighbors and limits the opportunities for children to play. This can lead to isolation and ultimately to loneliness of the people.
9 strategies for more silence
The German Society for Acoustics (DEGA) gives 9 tips on how you can bring more peace to your everyday life:
1.Consideration: Do not make more noise than is absolutely necessary and can be avoided under certain circumstances.
2.Protect yourself: Always wear hearing protection when required or advisable. Use only products with an optimal protective function.
3.Protect Your Children: Check Your Children’s Toys! Crackling frogs and blank guns can cause considerable hearing damage, even if they are briefly exposed to them!
4.Have ear protection ready: Before starting any activity, check whether hearing protection is necessary: for example when mowing the lawn, cutting hedges or doing DIY.
5.Think of your friends: Encourage friends and acquaintances to do the same and to reconsider and observe the above points every day.
6.Quiet leisure activities: Refrain from leisure activities that involve a lot of noise.
7.Room volume: critically check the volume setting on your radio and television sets, from which you receive sound every day.
8.Check-ups: Have your hearing checked by specialists at regular intervals.
9.Quiet often: Reconsider your habits: Does the CD player, radio or television have to be running in the background? Everyone can take the first step against the annoyance caused by too much noise, namely avoiding their own noise. That means, simply switch off the CD player or the television set and let the silence sink in. Because: We decide through our behavior and our lifestyle whether it will be quieter around us or not.