Have you ever thought about the possible health effects of noise, apart from it just being annoying?
In addition to hearing loss, noise has also been shown to cause stress and hypertension, heart disease and insomnia. It has even been traced to effects on the immune system, learning difficulties and birth defects! Visit this link for more details.
Of particular interest to me is the condition known as presbycusis or age related hearing loss. Like many so called age related conditions, this is often assumed to be inevitable. However, evidence now shows that in fact, this condition is more likely to be environmentally caused than simply a factor of aging. While aging is a factor in hearing loss, it is relatively insignificant compared with that of exposure to industrial noise. This means that young people too, must be made aware of the dangers of too much continuous loud noise.
Here is a comprehensive article from Wikipedia on the topic of noise health effects. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_health_effects
For me knowing that environmental factors play the major part of hearing loss is significant, because we now know that if the sound environment can cause damage to health, it can also potentially repair such damage. This is why Sound Therapy has such an important role to play, as it allows us to create a positive sound experience that we carry with us. My mother, Patricia Joudry found in her initial trial of the portable program that having it with her in noisy traffic completely took the stress away. When you remove stress, you change the impact of events upon your health. This can have significant implications for children with stress related learning difficulties, veterans and others with noise related post traumatic stress disorder, and anyone dealing with the effects of living or working in stressful noise.
And the future of noise? Here’s a great audio or transcript you can download that was on Background Briefing on Radio National with Hagar Cohen.