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The Adverse Health Effects of Noise Pollution

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), noise pollution affects human beings in different ways, such as inducing hearing loss, increasing cardiovascular disease risk, creating stress and causing sleep disturbance. Among these detrimental effects, sleep disturbance is considered the most harmful non-auditory effect because it can affect one’s quality of life and daytime performance.

Controlling the environment and preventing noise from entering our space is our first line of defense against noise pollution. Here are some ways we can protect ourselves from the negative effects of such pollution: 1. Install double-pane windows. 2. Reduce workplace noise.

However, sometimes we have little control of our surroundings. There are also a few things you can do to create a healthier environment for yourself. 1. Replace stressful noises with sounds that are more pleasing to you. 2. Reduce the influence of noise with a white noise machine. This is a device that creates a stream of background sounds, such as a breeze through a forest, rain, running waterfalls or other nature-like sounds. 3. Wear hearing protection. If you are going to be in an excessively loud environment, you might want to consider wearing earplugs or earmuffs.

Noise pollution can trigger our body’s stress response, which then can cause chronic conditions, such as elevated blood pressure, as mentioned before. If we can lessen our body’s response to noise stimuli, we might be able to counterbalance some of the negative health effects. Here are some of the techniques we can use: 1. Breathing exercises. You can do deep breathing exercises such as this one. Inhale through your nose and let your belly fill with air. Count to three when you inhale. Hold your breath for one second, and then breathe out through your nose again as you count to three. By doing this a few times, it can quickly calm your body. 2. Meditation. You can consider spending time meditating in a quiet place for at least a few minutes each day. 3. Yoga. Yoga incorporates physical postures, breathing control, and meditation. Many studies show that yoga is beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety.

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