What Is The Connection Between Noise Pollution And Addiction?

Human ears are designed to process naturally occurring sounds and transmit signals to the brain on detecting them. However, the ears are not so well-equipped to handle high noise levels because such loud sounds occur rarely in nature. Even though many people may be annoyed by loud or constant noise in their daily lives, they may be unaware of the effects of noise on their health, both in the short and long-term. Such noise pollution, which can be measured in decibels, may cause a disruption in daily life and expose a person to several health risks. Noise emitted by modern transportation systems, including cars, airplanes, and machines, contribute majorly to noise pollution in the environment.

Regular exposure to loud and disturbing noises can adversely affect the health of a person. Research suggests that noises above 45 decibels can prevent sleep, while those around 120 decibels may cause ear pain. One of the most common short-term effects of continuous noise is a headache or migraine. A person may find it difficult to focus and accomplish his or her daily tasks because of painful headaches. Sensitivity to light or nausea may also be experienced due to migraines.

One of the most well known sources of noise pollution-related stress is loud music. Some people are in the habit of listening to very loud music, which may disturb their neighbors and spread noise pollution. Even some common household appliances such as computer, fridge, air conditioners and television are known to be sources of noise pollution. Exposure to noise may cause extensive damage to the structures of the inner ear. This damage may be irreparable and result in hearing loss. New scientific studies point out that even moderately noisy open offices may cause health problems such as heart disease, musculoskeletal problems and stress. Stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, are released due to noise. This elevates the stress levels and suppresses the immune system of a person as the human mind constantly over works to differentiate between these sources of noise. A study based on effects of low-intensity noise on workspaces shows that it may also have adverse effects on physiological stress and motivation. According to a report by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), highly stressed and bored people, especially teens, are more likely to engage in alcohol and illegal drug abuse.

Noise pollution above 45 decibels may cause disturbance, which greatly affects light sleepers and disrupts their sleep cycles. Loss of sleep over several nights may result in health conditions such as exhaustion, irritability and loss of focus. To overcome such health conditions, a person may develop a habit of taking drugs. Exposure to higher noise pollution levels on a daily basis may also increase blood pressure levels and hypertension. This may cause loss of focus, annoyance and stress, which could lead to greater chances of a painful depression. Research has proven that children who are exposed to noise pollution experience slowed mental and physical development. As drugs may give a feeling of high and activeness, these individuals may be susceptible to self-medication, and drug and alcohol abuse. Over a period of time, this substance abuse may turn addictive and prove to be self-destructive.

Reduction of noise pollution in the environment is crucial as it causes depression and addiction. The effects of noise pollution may complicate health-related matters in the short and long-run and adversely affect the quality of life.

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