Noise Stress

An Insidious Killer Of Health And Happiness


(Page 1 of Noise Stress)

The dangers of noise stress

Noise stress experienced by little girl Noise has been defined by some medical scientists as: sound that is harmful to the central nervous system. Lay people might say that noise is simply any sound that annoys you.

Noise pollution is a serious problem of modern living. In 2007 guardian.co.uk reported that the noise of modern life has caused thousands of heart deaths.

There is certainly more than enough scientific evidence to confirm that the nature and the loudness of sounds have real and detrimental effects on human health and happiness. An Internet search will pull up hundreds of websites that will explain this in detail.


The purpose of our sense of hearing is natural self-defense

Science tells us that our inner ear is connected, by means of the autonomic nervous system, directly to the fight-or-flight neural mechanisms. Our sense of hearing is thus a key element in our own self-preservation as a species.

Because of its defensive role in our lives, our hearing cannot be switched off like we can switch off our sight by simply closing our eyelids. Sound registers continuously in the brain, even while we are sleeping.

This makes dealing with daily and nightly noise even more of a challenge.


The type of sounds we're designed to hear

No noise stress from the sounds of nature - in this cse elephants browsing

The human auditory system was designed to process the sound frequencies and intensities appropriate to our survival in the environments found in nature.

However, most human beings are town or city-dwellers and are therefore no longer living fully in nature. The original design of the auditory system may therefore no longer be so appropriate.

But, evolutionary changes and adaption are very gradual and take thousands of years to occur. Consequently our hearing mechanisms have not yet evolved to accommodate our new living environments.

We have not reached a point where our hearing apparatus is able to cope with the kinds and levels of sounds now commonly encountered in a typical urban and industrial lifestyle.


Sound overload in modern living

Noise stress from low-flying aircraft The result is quite simple: in the 21st century most of us are now regularly exposed to environments that overload our auditory system beyond its natural capacity to cope.

And because the auditory apparatus is connected to the entire central nervous system and the neuroendocrine system as well, this overload is transferred to our entire mind-body system. The result is noise stress, leading to impaired health and less happiness.


Scientific research

Noise stress through harmful sound frequencies

If you're interested in a fuller understanding of the relationship between noise and the human psycho-physiology, here is a useful and in-depth scientific discussion on the subject.


If a sound irritates you, for you that is 'noise'

While science is certainly useful for validating and explaining things, in practical terms we don't really need science in order to appreciate that noise is not conducive to our good health, peace of mind and happiness. We all know this from our own personal experience.

If a sound irritates you, you can consider that to be 'noise'. And if it is noise, then you are enduring noise stress.

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