MEDICAL PROBLEMS AND SOUND

TINNITUS

[or ringing sound in the Ear]
It is a condition characterized by ringing or other noises that appear to be originating in the ear. Though it is not a serious condition, it is linked to fatigue, stress, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, irritability, memory problems, concentration difficulty etc., More often it affects older people who have hearing problems. However it can affect younger people who are exposed to loud noises for extended period of time. In chronic / advanced cases, medical treatment may be necessary. Though Earplugs do not treat Tinnitus, it can prevent trigger of Tinnitus when a susceptible individual is exposed to unsafe noise level.
For more details visit AMERICAN TINNITUS ASSOCIATION [www.ata.org]

NOISE, CARDIOVASULAR DISEASE ANDHEART ATTACKS

Chronic noise exposure can raise to the risk of elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure and higher levels of stress. These can have serious impact on the Heart and cardio vascular system.
On long term basis, the person gets Cardio Vascular Disease [CVD].
There are number of reports of heart attacks associated with high noise level.

NOISE AND SLEEP DISTURBANCES

There is objective and subjective evidence of sleep disturbance caused by noise. A person gets woken up from sleep repeatedly when exposed to high decibel louds. For a peaceful sleep, ideal Db level should be less than 35 during the duration of sleep.
Sleep disturbances have direct impact on Cardiovascular health, Diabetes state, Mental health and performance at work , learning by students and cordial interpersonal relations. Sleep disturbed people end up making more accidents during the day and will feel sleepy during day time when active work is required. Sleep disturbed people perform poorly at work and are less sociable.

NOISE AND MENTAL HEALTH

On short time basis, noise exposures can cause annoyance, irritability and trigger anger reaction. It leads to road rage with very little provocation. It leads to strained relations at work and home and on long term basis this leads to behavioral changes and affects mental fitness of the individual. The condition of those with mental illness gets aggravated when exposed to unsafe noise levels.

NOISE IMPACT ON PREGNANT WOMEN

Studies have shown that exposure to hazardous noise level by pregnant women can have serious impact on the fetus and newborns. Shortened gestation periods, congenital anomalies and decreased birth weight are some of the documented effects of noise. Pregnant women are exposed to hazardous sound in offices, factories and homes which are close to road , rail or airports.

NOISE IMPACT ON PATIENTS IN HOSPITALS

WHO and Indian Government have recommended noise levels to be below 40 Db in Hospitals.
However, in most hospitals, the patients are exposed to intolerable levels of noise which could be as high as 90 Db during the day and 80 Db during night. These noise come from outside ( Traffic, loud speakers, crackers etc ) and also inside (sound of Medical equipment, Medical procedures and discussions done by staff ), in fact,there are number of studies which have shown that sound level in many ICU’s is higher than what a patient would experience at home. High noise levels will have direct impact on the recovery period of patient in addition to medical problems like delirium and increased Blood pressure. There are many published reports in leading Medical journals which have recommended earplugs for all admitted patients who are Continuously exposed to noise levels higher than 45 Db.