Dealing with Noise Pollution in Your Neighborhood

Dealing with Noise Pollution in Your Neighborhood

In Hearing Health, Hearing Loss, Research, Tips & Tricks by Dr. Robert Hooper Au.D.

As technology advances there seems like there is more to see and more to hear than ever before. We live in a noisy world. If you live in an urban or suburban environment then the noises of your neighbors, their dogs, the traffic and everything else can be a lot of stimulation for your ears. When noise become too much this is commonly referred to as noise pollution. Noise that reach levels above 85 decibels for an extended amount of time can cause damage to our ears and our hearing. Unless you live in a quiet rural setting there is a good chance you are subjected to this level of noise in your neighborhood at least sometimes. Noise pollution is around day and night and can cause serious damage to not only our hearing but also our physical and mental health.

The Negative Effects of Noise Pollution

“Excessive noise seriously harms human health and interferes with people’s daily activities at school, at work, at home, and during leisure time,” warns the World Health Organization (WHO). It’s estimated that around 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous noise levels on a daily basis. Noise pollution must be taken seriously to protect the hearing of the residents of any neighborhood. While excessive levels of noise in your neighborhood can cause irreparable hearing loss it can also lead to insomnia, compromised concentration, less than adequate work performance, and increased stress, which affects immune system function.

Noise Pollution Awareness

The thing is you might not even realize the level of noise pollution you are exposed to daily. You most likely have become accustomed to the hum of engines and horns honking on a daily basis on your way to work. The rumble of a jackhammer on your way to the store might not seem like a big deal but noise pollution adds up. When your environment is loud everyday it slowly degrades your hearing and can cause extreme unneeded stress. You can try to keep your home environment calm and quiet like an oasis but sometimes, depending on where you live it is not so easy to escape the sounds of the world around you in your neighborhood.

Sources of Neighborhood Noise Pollution

Location is the hugest factor in the noise pollution you are exposed to on a daily basis. If you live near a busy road then traffic noises will most likely take over anytime you open your window to get some fresh air. If you live near a school then the sounds of children at recess can add up to quite a racket. If you live near an airport then you become accustomed to the earth shaking sounds of planes taking off regularly despite the damage it does to your ears. Lawn mowers leaf blowers and dogs barking all add up to noise pollution.

Protecting Your Family from Noise Pollution

Even if you live in a noisy neighborhood that doesn’t mean you have to move to the country to find peace. If you have a front yard planting a barrier of trees will do allot to not only create privacy but also build a sound barrier to keep your home more protected from the sounds around you. Whether you live in an apartment or a house making sure you have carpet in every room will not only act as an insulator to keep in heat or coolness but also dampen sounds of your neighbors.  Making sure your windows are dressed with curtains or blinds will provide privacy while also absorbing sound to protect you home from noise outside. A hack to keep your appliances a little quieter like your blender or coffee grinder is to place foam underneath the base to lessen the noise pollution they can add. Be a thoughtful neighbor and stay aware as to how you contribute to noise pollution. Keep your stereo and TV at a level that won’t affect your neighbors.  This doesn’t just benefit your neighbors but your ears could probably use a break sometimes too.

Treating Hearing Loss

If you feel like the noise is too much there are so many ways to protect your hearing. If you believe you have developed hearing loss then don’t delay in getting a hearing test and seeking treatment as soon as possible. Even though there is so much to hear out there, you don’t want to miss a thing.