NON MEDICAL PROBLEMS

SNORING SPOUSES AND ITS IMPACT ON PARTNERS

20% of the adult population and 60% of the men above 40 years of age have snoring problem. The partner of snorer can have sleep interrupted nearly two dozen times a night . Snoring causes noise levels to 60-80/ 90 Db, whereas for a blissful sleep the noise level must be 30 Db.
Snoring is the No.1 Medical reason for divorce and No.3 non-medical reason (No.1 being infidelity and No.2 being financial reasons). Though earplugs do not treat snoring, it helps the bed partner to have more peaceful sleep because of reduction in noise levels.

NOISE IMPACT ON STUDENTS AND STUDIES

For concentration, focus, reading and learning the sound level need to as low as 30-35 Db. Typical road traffic or houses situated close to railway lines or main roads,the sound level could be as high as 80-90 Db at the time of study in the mornings and evenings. With this kind of noise level, students are not able to focus and concentrate on their studies. At home these disturbances come from loud talking, Televisions,Radios ,Roadtraffic, Loud speakers, Trains and Airplanes etc. Atstudent hostels, these could come from LoudRoommatesand fromplayground.
The following are some of the effects of noise pollution on students.
  • Decreased motivation and will to study.
  • Low problem solving skills.
  • Increased errors while performing tasks or during exams.
  • Reduced reading attention and ability to read.
  • Poor language development.
  • Negative effects on cognitive skills.
  • Memory is affected.
  • Low self esteem
  • Stress and irritability etc
All these result in LOWER ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE and poor marks in examination.
See below NOISE POLLUTION VS CONCENTRATION representative graph developed by Simon Daniel

DECIBEL VS CONCENTRATION

NOISE AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

Number of studies has shown that academic performance improves significantly after noise control measures were introduced for students. Using an effective earplug canbring down noise level by30 Db. With other measures if overall noise level is reduced to be around 35 Db, students can focus on studies and learning. With lesser effort, the level of grasping and learning improve. Increased focus and concentration will have direct bearing on learning and finally, academic performance.

www.earthtimes.org / health, 31 oct 2011
Researchers found that in order for students to get the very best test scores the background noise to be low as just 28 decibels which is extremely quiet

NOISE AND TRAVEL BY AIRPLANES, TRAINS, BUS AND BIKES

AIR TRAVEL

During air travel, a person is exposed noise levels between 80-90 Db.
Those who sit behind [close to engine] are exposed to higher levels of noise. These high decibel exposures could be for as long as 40 hours in International travel with few hours break in between.
Pressure changes during takeoff, landing and turbulent weather cause severe ear pain. No wonder, helpless babies cry nonstop during such times. With such double attack [sound and pressure] on ears, the passenger arrives in a highly disturbed state. This misery can be reduced by putting on earplug right before takeoff and most part of the flight.

BUS JOURNEY

During luxury Bus journey, the traveler is exposed to sound of horns and outside traffic noise. Within the Bus, noise is created by Video Movies and Music which are claimed to be running for passenger benefit. During an overnight journey, such high decibel blast [80-90 Db] could last 4-5 hours. In normal open Buses, passenger is exposed to wind blowing in to ears.

TRAIN TRAVEL

Train journeys are unpleasant with disturbing with noise from Railway stations and sound of running trains. Noise levels could reach 95-100 Db in non AC compartments which could be for even 48-60 hours. Even after a short journey, travelers arrive in a tired state because of the exposure to noise levels above 80 Db on continuous basis.

MOTORCYCLE

During motorcycle journey, the rider is exposed twin attack on ears. There is wind blowing in to ears which could give wind noise of 90 Db even under helmet while riding Motorcycle at 80-90 Km per hour. Also, noise levels in city traffic could be 90-100 Db.
Such unhealthy levels of traffic noise and wind noise exposure could bring in permanent damage to ears even if the ride is for half an hour. Then, there are “heroes” who remove silencers and helmets to impress people. Such riders not only harm themselves, but also others who have to put up with 90 Db plus noise.

NOISE FROM LOUD EVENTS

crackers and loud speakers
A person is subjected to loud sounds in cities with blaring of loud speakers, bursting of crackers, singing of songs etc., which add to the existing high noise level of traffic. In music events, people are exposed to 100-115 Db noise for 2-3 hours particularly those sitting closer to the speakers. In all cities, noise levels during festivals reach 100 Db plus even during nights. These exposures leave short term and long term negative effects on people. Senior citizens and young babies are terribly affected. Pregnant women leave impact on preterm babies if unprotected. Since, most of the city Hospitals are on main roads, patients are seriously affected. Students are not able to study. Sleep disturbed people end up performing poorly at work during the day.

NOISE AT WORK

There are number of regulations which restrict noise levels at work. Number of companies havetaken steps to provide earplugs to workers. In spite of providing” free “earplugs, most exposed workmen do not use these at crucial times.
The issue is not only of regulation, but, awareness based on education. High noise exposure industries include Mining,metal, Construction,Automobiles,Airlines, Railway employees etc.
Most people from small scale industries which constitute majority of work force may not have heard about ear protection at all.
At the modern offices the noise is aggravated by printers, Computers, printing machines, AC etc.

MEN IN UNIFORM

[traffic police and Armymen]
Traffic police have high exposure to noise levels which could be 80-105 Db during major part of the day. Studies have shown that large % of traffic police have serious hearing problems.
Another highly vulnerable group is Defense service men. They are exposed to gunfire,Rockets,
Grenades and helicoptersetc in addition to noise created by moving tanks, planes etc. It is not unusual to see most war veterans have hearing problems far more than bullet wounds!
These men in uniform need to be educated and protected.