Just as we never truly appreciate our health until after we’ve been sick, we can’t really appreciate peace and quiet until we’ve dealt with a disturbance in the neighborhood. Noise pollution is a real problem in our communities, and it can be so pervasive that it affects sleep schedules. Whether the noise is coming from construction, traffic, airplanes, noisy neighbors, or anything else, there are ways that you can protect your family and yourself from the effects of noise pollution.
Noise Pollution Protection
One of the simplest ways to protect against the harmful effects of noise pollution is to make use of hearing protection. At night, for instance, you can make use of earplugs to ensure that you get a deep and restful night’s sleep. There are plenty of brands of earplugs that are inexpensive and effective, and they can be the edge you need in the war against noise.
Noise Pollution Matters
It can be easy to think of noise pollution as little more than a nuisance, but it’s much more pervasive and dangerous than that. Noise pollution can actually be detrimental to your health. Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) can permanently affect your hearing should you be exposed to loud noises for too long. This condition is irreversible and permanent.
Even conditions such as tinnitus (persistent ringing in the ears) can crop up if you’re exposed to loud noises for too long. Plenty of people think ahead and use earplugs while at a concert or loud sporting event, but not enough people consider that they could be dealing with just as harmful noises right at home.
Loudness of Common Neighborhood Noises
Believe it or not, there are plenty of common neighborhood noises that are well over the safe zone of 85 decibels. If you’re close to a car without a muffler, hammering nails into wood, or operating a jackhammer, you’re being exposed to noises that could cause permanent NIHL. Even simple things such as power mowers and street traffic can be damaging to your ears should you be exposed too long.
What You Can Do to Fight Noise Pollution
Aside from the very simple solution of using earplugs, you can also combat noise pollution by building a fence around your yard and even planting shrubs. These things help to absorb sound and prevent it from having as much of an impact on you. The more surfaces there are between you and the source of the noises, the better. Carpet and drapes are also great at absorbing sound and can be the difference between bloodshot eyes and a good night’s sleep.
When it comes to combating the harmful effects of noise pollution, it’s all about being proactive. As with everything else in life, the best defense is a good offense. You can even take concrete steps inside of your home to combat noise pollution, such as putting foam underneath appliances so as to absorb more of the sound.
You can also check the seal around doors and windows and use caulk as needed, or add insulation in your home. Not only will this stop sound from getting into your house, but it’ll also help to keep in heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. You’ll be saving yourself an outrageous bill as well as a headache.
One of the best things you can do in the fight against noise pollution is to spread awareness. Inform your family members about what they can do to help fight noise pollution. You can even make a game out of it with the kids, perhaps by planting shrubs together or showing them how to properly seal cracks so that they’ll be able to know how to do it in the future when they own a home.
What You Do Matters
The choices you make when it comes to noise pollution matter, and they can be the difference between permanent hearing loss and peach and quiet. By taking these small, concrete steps toward dealing with the problem, you’ll be able to better enjoy your home and neighborhood. Feel free to take these steps, apply them, and then even add some of your own. Whatever works to reduce the noise that you encounter on a daily basis, the better off you’ll be.
Carolyn Clarke is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, CA who has worked for various manufacturing and construction services over the past 10 years, where she has helped create effective hearing protection plans. In her free time, she takes her dog running along the Malibu coastline.