by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition
This article, online and in the print version of Prevention magazine, discusses noise pollution and how loud noise can affect health. Loud noise causes auditory problems–hearing loss, tinnitus, and hyperacusis–but also has less known non-auditory health effects as well. These include sleep disturbances, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, leading to increased mortality.
It’s relatively easy to protect one’s ears from auditory damage: avoid loud noise or use hearing protection if one can’t.
Protecting populations from the non-auditory health effects of noise will take concerted political effort to get legislation requiring quieter planes, vehicles, and trains passed and enforced.
But I believe if enough people complain to enough elected officials, a quieter world is possible.