Noise is Bad for Health, Study Finds

Noise is an ever frequent fixture in our lives and it has become ubiquitous with our daily lives. For many people a life where silence is prevalent is not even known. For example, city life is punctuated by noise from sirens, cars and buses, horns, squealing brakes, planes flying past, among many other sources of life. Life outside of the cities is not entirely quiet with the occasional noises from farm machinery, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, dogs, and snow blowers.

Everyday life has also been punctuated by noise such as loud ringtones from mobile phones, screaming and crying children, television and entertainment equipment, and noise in restaurants. Noise is simply everywhere.

Mathias Basner, an assistant professor of sleep and chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania has been working and thinking more deeply about noise and the effect that it is having in people’s lives. Noise, according to Prof. Basner, is a public health problem.

Basner led a team of researchers to review noise research and found that noise in the environment, at the workplace and in social settings is not only responsible for hearing loss but also poor sleep quality, annoyance, learning problems, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure.

The effects of noise were shown to stem from the responses generated in the body to what it might consider as danger. This is because the auditory system plays a watchman kind of role since it is always open and always awake. It is constantly checking for environmental threats.

loud speakersExposure to high levels of noise creates a stress response which subsequently leads to the release of hormones which cause high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. From the studies on noise levels, Basner says that noise exposure is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Basner says that much of what many people call noise is subjective and certain noise levels may lead to physical damage of the auditory system. On the other hand, the conversation in the office may not be loud enough to damage the eardrums but it might trigger stress hormones especially if you cannot concentrate on a difficult project.

According to Basner, getting good-quality sleep is important because certain physiological processes are meant to occur at night, especially during sleep. Therefore, if sleep is disrupted, important body processes are disrupted as well. The body requires some quiet periods especially at night. Noise in the bedroom or during sleep is detrimental to your health. One study has shown that having a partner who snored and changed position often was almost as bad as being barraged by airport noise.

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Somnowell Inventor - Visiting Professor Simon Ash FDS MSc MOrth BDS

Prof. Ash is the inventor of the highly successful SOMNOWELL Chrome device for snoring and sleep apnoea.

The Somnowell Chrome is made to exacting standards in the Somnowell laboratory under the supervision of Visiting Professor Simon Ash. Prof. Ash and his master technicians create each Somnowell Chrome device using their wealth of experience and expertise.

Prof. Ash works at the forefront of his profession. He is a Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist with over 30 years clinical experience, with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, TMJD, and bruxism. He currently works in Harley Street London and two private hospitals in London as part of a multi-disciplinary team managing snoring and sleep apnoea, and is Visiting Professor of Orthodontics at the BPP University.