April 24, 2024

The World is Getting Louder

Blog graphic for Audiology blog about The World getting louder and how to ensure hearing health

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
  • Gastrointestinal issues—Noise can affect digestion, contributing to ulcers, upset stomachs and acid reflux.4

The good news? While hearing loss from loud noise is permanent, it’s also preventable. Make a plan to cut through the noise—call Fort HealthCare Audiology at 920.563.6667 in Fort Atkinson or 262.473.8920 in Whitewater to explore your options and schedule a hearing evaluation or complimentary hearing screening.

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#:~:text=
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#:~:text=
4 International Noise Awareness Day. (n.d.). Impact on health. https://noiseawareness.org/noise-hurts/impact-on-health/