We hear about it all the time, how bad all this noise is for us. The sounds of the city around us during our morning commute, the construction noise going on just around the block from the office, the hum of appliances running all at once in a busy kitchen, the list goes on and on. While we all would love to live an environment where noise pollution wasn’t a problem, it seems not many of us know exactly what to do to mitigate all this noise.
Even though reducing the environmental decibel levels around us is no easy task, the impact of noise-induced hearing loss on both our mental and physical health can leave a noticeable dent in our quality of life. A noisy environment here or there may not seem like a big deal; it’s not like you’re going to experience significant damage by hanging out in a noisy restaurant for an hour or two right? Right. But, if you have enough repeated instances that find you inundated with noise pollutions, there is a very high probability your hearing will degrade over time and exposure.
Here’s a little food for thought next time you find yourself in high decibel situation.
Psychological Effects of Hearing Loss
People dealing with hearing loss may start to feel isolated because they have such a hard time understanding those around them. They may be last to pick up on jokes, have a hard time following a conversation, or join in conversations around them because of their inability to hear.
This isolated feeling can lead to a whole host of psychological fallout such as anxiety, anger, fear, and depression which in turn may cause an individual to self-isolate, thereby worsening the condition hearing loss has put them in in the first place.
The elderly population is especially vulnerable to the mental toll hearing loss takes because networks of support decrease as they grow older and their loved ones pass on. These individuals may isolate themselves and avoid going to a hearing health professional to seek the help they need.
Physical Effects Of Hearing Loss
People who have experienced hearing loss are less likely to pick up environmental cues around them, making them slower to respond. This failure to pick up on cues may result in significant injury such as falls, getting struck by vehicles, getting into motor vehicle accidents, etc.
Psychological fallout from hearing loss can also manifest itself into physical symptoms such as lethargy, body aches, headaches, and fatigue. The lack of desire to remain active can result in weight gain and subsequent physical symptoms tied to extra weight.
Other effects of noise pollution besides hearing loss can be a constant or intermittent ringing in the ears called tinnitus. Tinnitus is often persistent and very disruptive to daily life, especially if the ringing is especially prominent or consistent.
Stress headaches are common also due to the strain individuals who have unrealized hearing loss go through to try and keep up within the environment, straining to hear or read lips to compensate for the loss.