Do you crank up the tunes in your earbuds? Attend noisy sporting events? Work in a noise-polluted environment? A recent New Yorker article cautions that noise pollution may be the next big health crisis. Having anticipated that, ABCD Health Services and ABCD Board Vice Chair James A. Owens, Jr. created the “Lower the Sound, Save Your Hearing” public awareness campaign.
Hearing loss – which is permanent – is the third most common chronic health condition, affecting 28 million Americans. This comes as a surprise to many. Researchers are devoting more time to understanding the causes as well as the extensive range of health issues arising even from brief exposure to loud noises such as sirens (one minute can cause damage) or rock concerts (just two minutes can impair hearing).
As the New Yorker article notes, “Studies have shown that people who live or work in loud environments are particularly susceptible to many alarming problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, low birth weight, and … physical, cognitive, and emotional issues ….”