In the year 1910, Nobel prize winning scientist Robert Koch said, "One day man will have to fight noise as fiercely as cholera and pest." Today his words ring true. If you live in the Indian metros like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, waking up to honking, screeching sounds of vehicles is commonplace. Constant exposure to loud, repeated noises is not only bad for hearing but for overall health. Here are some of the ways noise pollution can profoundly affect your well-being.
Sleep disturbance: This one's a no-brainer. The first thing to get affected by noise is your sleep. However, that's not the last of it. Lack of good sleep can cause a cascade effect where your endocrine system, cardiovascular health and stress levels are compromised. Sleep restrictions also cause inadequate pancreatic insulin secretion.
Heart problems: Instances of myocardinal infraction, arterial hypertension, coronary heart diseases and ischaemic heart disease have been seen in people living or working in noisy surroundings.
High blood pressure: If you live around places that are constantly noisy, you will see an elevation in your blood pressure levels. Studies suggest that the pressure levels of those living around noise are higher than those who don't.
Endocrine disorders: Exposure to high intensity noise can trigger the production of adrenaline and nonadrenaline in the body. It can raise stress levels and cause cortisol levels to go up in your blood, causing water retention, weight gain, fatigue, immune problems, heart failure and stroke.
Psychiatric problems: High levels of noise can trigger annoyance which leads on to serious forms of psychiatric disorders. Irritability and anger will increase, which can cause problems in personal relationships. The person becomes more restless, argumentative and anxious.
Impaired child development: According to a study, the foetus is capable of perceiving sounds and responding to them. Hormones of the mother have a big role to play in foetal growth and are indicators of protein production. Noise tends to affect the production of the mother's hormones, causing abnormalities in the child's development.