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Noise Pollution In The Big City

If you live in a big city then you’re probably accustomed to the loud noises all around you and don’t think much about it. Health experts now tell us that all this noise pollution could be having a serious effect on our well-being in general, and more specifically on our ears. Over the years this continuous exposure to loud sounds could result in hearing loss and sometimes the damage is permanent. No wonder we all feel the need to speak louder!

How loud is an urban city?

Toronto PostcardBlaring car horns, non-stop highway traffic, screaming subway trains, emergency sirens, aircrafts, etc. have been found to have a profound impact on hearing abilities, albeit gradual. Some studies, like a report published by the Federal Interagency Committee on Noise way back in 1992 found noise levels on a busy urban street to be at 90 dB. While these numbers might not mean much, it will definitely make you sit up when you hear that this sound level is comparable to that of a Boeing 737 one mile away from landing. Now that’s loud, isn’t it? And the study was done over 10 years ago, so the volume of noise is definitely much more today.

Even more alarming, when you consider the warning by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which says being exposed to more than 85 decibels of sound for eight hours can damage your hearing. In fact, workers who are exposed to these noise levels are expected to wear hearing protection devices.

Individuals living and working in a big city are battling these loud sounds every day. And it’s not just when you’re out on the streets. Loud music in packed restaurants, rock concerts and personal music devices like iPods are all linked to hearing loss.

It’s time to take your hearing health seriously. If you’ve been straining to hear conversation or are experiencing pain in your ears, get your hearing tested today.

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