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Excess Noise: Bad for Your Mind and Body
How Noise Affects You Mentally and Physically
How to Combat Toxic Noise
- Workplace noise—If you are bothered by loud and persistent noise at work, like a bone-shaking assembly line, you can campaign for a better working environment. If that does not work, then you can wear ear plugs, learn to accept the workplace conditions, or change jobs.
- Neighborhood noise—If you live on a main bus route and opposite a set of lights, you can move your main living room and bedroom to the back of the house, if the architecture of your home allows it. Secondary glazing, in which a second window is fitted inside the first, can cut noise too. Even if they do not bring complete silence, these actions give you a sense of control.
- Noisy neighbors—Most people do not like to confront the person they live next to, because they fear that saying something about the noise may make the problem worse. To take some control consider speaking to your neighbor or writing a polite letter to let the person know that there is a problem.
- Legal action—If all else fails, you may need to take the legal route. Most cities have a department of environmental protection that will deal with noise problems. They will come and measure the noise. If it is louder than the allowable level, then they will issue a violation. If the problem is with a noisy neighbor, you may need to call the police.
American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org
Center for Hearing and Communication http://www.chchearing.org
Canadian Academy of Audiology http://www.canadianaudiology.ca
The Canadian Hearing Society http://www.chs.ca
Stansfeld S, Matheson M. Noise pollution: non-auditory effects on health. Br Med Bull. 2003;68(1):243-257.
Noise. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hsb/noise/. Accessed November 12, 2013.
Noise pollution. US Environmental Protection Agency website. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/air/noise.html#health. Updated July 16, 2012. Accessed November 12, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 11/2013
- Update Date: 11/12/2013