Whether it’s sirens and car alarms outside your apartment window, the whine of jets, or just your neighbors’ loud party, chances are urban noise pollution is driving you to distraction. And as much as we seek it, finding real quiet seems almost impossible.
Unfortunately, that’s not a good thing. According to a recent article in The Independent, constant noise can be hazardous to your health. Writes Stephen Stansfeld: “These effects can be physical, mental, and possibly even disrupt children’s learning.”
In a variety of studies, noise pollution has been linked with high blood pressure, deafness, a significantly increased risk of stroke and heart disease, fatigue, and a broad assortment of mood disturbances. This includes negative emotional responses such as “noise annoyance”—which even extends to feelings that one’s privacy is being violated. Our children are also impacted. Stansfeld notes, “About 20 studies have found effects of either aircraft or road traffic noise on children’s reading ability and long-term memory.” The noise, he says, resulted in “poorer reading comprehension and memory.” Studies found that the age at which children in the U.K. start to read was delayed up to two months for each approximately five-decibel increase in airplane noise.
Some people rely on noise-dampening techniques, including furnishings such as rugs and draperies, and others listen to white noise. Still others have turned to music, meditation, or self-hypnosis. But Jonathon Ewald in a post to Life & Health Network has one extreme solution that may work—for traffic, aircraft, and noisy neighbors: “Move,” he suggests.