Busy ‘soundscape’ may harm health
In a world that inhales technology and exhales anxiety, we spend a good portion of our days in an endless, unrestrained orgy of noise.
From cellphones bleeping in concert halls to music blasting from our neighbours’ windows and machines buzzing across verdant lawns, noise assaults us from every direction. Natural silence, it seems, has become an exceedingly rare and increasingly endangered commodity.
Some will argue that a world flooded with technological gadgets is bound to be noisy. Constant noise is a mere nuisance that balances the numerous advantages technology offers. Noise is progress. Noise is energy. Yet, while we may have chosen to resign ourselves to the industrial soundscape, mounting evidence suggests that noise may be killing us softly.
Not only are hearing problems on the rise — affecting three million Canadians at last count, according to the Hearing Foundation of Canada — but research also indicates that noise plays a considerable role in a number of conditions, ranging from chronic insomnia to mental and behavioural disorders.
A leading expert on the issue, Prof. Deepak Prasher, head of University College London’s audiology unit, claims that elevated levels of traffic noise, especially at night, can trigger ulcers and heart attacks.
Noise-sensitive women may be significantly more at risk of noise-induced heart attack than others, reported the journal Science Of The Total Environment in January.
It seems our bodies are not quite ready for the din of modern life.
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From the editors of alive magazine