Published in The ASHA Leader, May 2013
In a world where noise never stops, hearing threats bombard us every day. Take a tour of some of America’s noisiest environments—and bring your earplugs.
Noise pervades our society. The booms, screeches and reverberations of traffic, manufacturing, construction and airplanes can’t be avoided in daily life. And the onslaught is magnified for those whose jobs require noisy tools and tasks: soldiers and police officers firing guns and sounding sirens, farmers and factory workers running heavy machinery, or airport workers directing thundering jets.
But one person’s unpleasant noise may be another’s sought-after sound: Concerts, restaurants and bars, movies, and sporting events all generate high noise levels—some loud enough to damage hearing, especially with prolonged exposure.
No matter how “noise” is defined—as loud, discordant, unharmonious, unpleasant, undesired, unexpected or simply something that interferes with hearing—none of these definitions truly characterizes noise’s effects on human beings. Many offending stimuli affect not only our hearing but also our well-being: Noise exposure has been implicated in cases of sleep disturbance, heart disease and hypertension, among other adverse effects.
See entire article here.