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Is Noise Pollution Hurting Your Heart?

While most of us adapt to the noises around us on a regular basis, many of us do so without […]

While most of us adapt to the noises around us on a regular basis, many of us do so without thought to the impact noise can have on our general health and wellbeing. I have, on many occasions, found news stories about the impact of noise on health. Persistent noise makes it difficult to sleep. A lack of sleep leads to headaches, fuzziness, and fatigue. And all of these things lead to stress – stress that can, over time, cause significant damage to your heart.

Is Noise Pollution Hurting Your Heart?

German Study Uncovers Arterial Hardening

A study done by the Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Germany studied the levels of arterial hardening, or atherosclerosis, in individuals who were routinely exposed to noise. The study involved more than 4,000 people and monitored each person’s TAC (thoracic aortic calcification) score. By the end of the study, it was found that the average TAC score had risen over 8%. An increase like that, while it seems small, can mean huge changes in a person’s potential for developing heart disease.

Air and Noise Pollution are Related

According to Dr. Mercola, those who suffer from noise pollution issues are often subjected to air pollution at the same time. This is because the noisiest areas are generally near places that are subject to high levels of air contamination – like airports, bus stations, and highways.

Dr. Mercola took a closer look at the same study conducted by the Leibniz Research Institute. While many studies previous to this have not acknowledged noise and air pollution together, there are several that link each to heart disease – but as independent agents. When researchers started to take away the variable factors they could control – like other airborne pollutants such as cigarette smoke – they found that those who lived in high risk areas need to consider both types of pollution equally.

Noise Pollution and Your Heart

It’s relatively easy to imagine how inhaling toxic air can hurt your health, but how does noise cause damage? The persistent levels of noise cause you to feel stressed and, as a result, your body starts to produce all of the hormones related to reducing stress. These hormones are meant to be used in short-term situations, but persistent noise means your glands are on overdrive, creating more and more. Ultimately, your bodily functions are impacted by excessive hormone levels.

Do you live in a high risk area? If so, you may want to consider some soundproofing methods. You can implement the use of sound control curtains, soundproof windows, or even techniques to soundproof your walls completely. Regardless, it’s important to acknowledge and solve the problem. Adaptation could lead you to an early grave.

Image credit – Wikimedia Commons

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