Is Noise Pollution Making You Sick?
Article By : Dr. Jessica Wu
Is noise pollution making you sick? Have you noticed how loud it’s getting? In addition to car horns and leaf blowers on the street, now we have earbuds and wall-shaking sound systems in movie theaters. Not only can this noise pollution lead to hearing loss, but studies have shown that exposure to loud noises can increase blood pressure and stimulate stress hormones. Here’s how to protect your hearing and your health.
Wear earplugs. If your partner or roommate listens to loud music or turns the volume way up on the TV, pop in some plugs to protect your ears. If you live near an airport, your walls are thin, or it’s otherwise loud at night, wear earplugs to sleep, since loud noises such as planes taking off and landing have been shown to increase blood pressure. In fact, some researchers even believe that some heart attacks can be attributed to noise pollution. If, like me, you’re addicted to blow-dryers, consider using earplugs when you dry your hair.
Shut your windows. Protect yourself from outside noises, because sudden, unexpected loud noises, like a jackhammer, are more likely to raise your blood pressure than a continuous loud noise like a vacuum cleaner or dishwasher.
Take a sound break. If you like wearing earbuds and/or listening to loud music, videos, or TV, give your ears a break at some point during the day by taking them out or turning down the volume. You’ll help lower your stress level and preserve your hearing.
Dr Jessica Wu is a board-certified dermatologist practicing in Los Angeles, California. She received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed her residency at the University of Southern California (USC) Medical Center. In addition to her thriving private practice, Dr Wu is also Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at USC, where she volunteers her time to teach medical students and doctors in training.