How noise is secretly killing us?

The study shows that the situation is so bad in cities that ENT specialists now say a 20dB loss in hearing among urbanites is "normal".

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Silence and peaceful environments are hard to find these days.

The unbearable traffic noise, high volumes of loudspeakers and aggressive use of diesel generators are not only discharging harmful chemicals in the air but also pushing us on the verge of hearing disability.

If doctors are to believed, noise pollution is spreading like a plague in India. Life-long hearing impairment, anxiety attacks, hypertension and heart diseases are just some of the diseases that are caused while living in a consistent noisy environment.

The Times of India (TOI) in its latest report on adverse effect of noise pollution revealed some of the eye-opening facts about the irresistible noisy environment of metropolitan cities.

The over-crowded ITO junction in Delhi registers around 74 decibel (dB) of sound on a typical day, almost 10db over the limit for commercial areas.

Similarly, the level near Acworth Hospital in Mumbai's Wadala is usually 70dB, almost 20dB more than what's permitted in such a zone.

It is scientifically proven that every 10dB increase makes the sound twice as loud to the human ear which means that regular commuters in such areas are at high risk of developing hearing impairment.

The study shows that the situation is so bad in cities that ENT specialists now say a 20dB loss in hearing among urbanites is "normal".

The TOI report based on four-year study on noise pollution showed Mumbai as the noisiest city followed by Lucknow and Hyderabad while Delhi stood fourth and Chennai fifth.

Aggression and loss of patience are some behavioral side effects of ear-splitting sounds.

The problem is people are not realizing that noise is their hidden enemy. Loud music and bursting of crackers are both culturally and commercially viewed as a part of our pursuit of happiness.

It is the need of the hour that we all should change our mindset. We all should realize silent and peaceful surroundings are health blessings.

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