Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is caused by exposure to excessive sound pressure levels. The urge to cover our ears in noisy situations is a common reaction to loud sounds, but our bodies also react in many other ways. In this blog, we explore 5 ways that noise can impact your health.
Left untreated, hearing loss can increase the likelihood of someone experiencing poor mental health. A study, led by Dr. Chuan-Ming Li MD, PhD who works in the Division of Scientific Programs at The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) “found that prevalence of moderate to severe depression was 4.9 percent for individuals who reported excellent hearing, 7.1 percent for those with good hearing and 11.4 percent for participants who reported having a little hearing trouble or greater hearing impairment.”
Another study carried out by the National Center for Biotechnology Information linked exposure to excessive noise to a 200% increased risk of anxiety and depression. The study demonstrated a steady increase in depression in relation to the higher noise volumes.
Certain demographic groups are at a higher risk of health-related problems due to noise. Young children, who spend more time in bed than adults, are more exposed to night noise. Elderly adults or the chronically ill are more sensitive to disturbances at night. shift workers already experience stressed sleep schedules, and subsequently may be more easily disturbed. The environment we live in also plays a big factor; quiet residential neighborhoods are less likely than busy urban centers to cause sleep disruption.
Understanding what constitutes dangerous levels of noise is the first step towards protecting your health. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) advises that “long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. The louder the sound, the shorter the amount of time it takes for NIHL to happen.”
There are simple steps that you can take to protect your hearing and increase your awareness of the noise in your environment:
At Sutton Hearing, we understand the impact that noise can have on your hearing health and wellbeing. Detecting changes to your baseline hearing is the first step towards treating NIHL. If you work or play in an around high levels of noise, let us help you come up with a plan to protect your ears from unwanted damage. Book in your hearing assessment by calling (212) 786-5741 or click here to request an appointment online.
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