Noise pollution effects on human health

HUMAN EAR AND NOISE POLLUTION

Noise Pollution has many effects on human health. These effects are natural consequences of the industrial improvements and urbanization. Let’s start with learning functions and parts of our ear.

The ear has divided into three parts:
• Outer ear consists of the pinna, the duct canal and tympanic membrane.
• Middle ear consists of the tympanic cavity, containing ossicles, muscles and ligaments, and the Eustachian tube that connects it to the pharynx and represents the only way for  the outside air.
• Inner ear consists mainly of small cavities and labyrinths. It is called snail.

When sound passes through the inner ear, which is filled with fluid, move the microvillus that are in it. This movement gives rise to chemical reactions in which auditory sensory cells are stimulated and send electrical impulses through the auditory nerve to the brain. The signal is translated By means of brain and brain interprets perceived sound class.

In normal hearing ear can pick up sounds from 0-1 dB to over 150 but more than 85 dB sounds are unhealthy and mostly caused by noise pollution. If you get to stay in a place where unwanted noise 150 dB (same effect as the takeoff of a jet, at a 15 m distance without protection) eardrum might be ruptured.

Hearing problems are due to the noise pollution and pressure on microvillus covering sensory cells. These small structures have the ability to bend and return to their position following an increasingly penetrating sound. When they receive a very high frequency or persistent sound waves, microvillus have to move so often and so irregular and abrupt that finally becomes damaged or detached. That may cause total loss of hearing.

Limits of ear against noise pollution effects

When the noise pollution reaches frequencies of 85 dB or more, it causes damage to hearing and general health.
These damages show up with headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, fatigue, insomnia and even bad mood. If the noises are persistent the person is at risk of partial or total deafness.

Deafness cases represents approximately 30% of all non-fatal diseases registered in a year. This figure is very high and makes us think about the deplorable working conditions of thousands of employees, especially in the field of construction and manufacturing industries.

The reason for these damages is exceeding normal hearing limits due to the noise pollution. The sound level becomes harmful from 85 dB and painful about 120 and if it reaches 180 it may cause even death.
It is noteworthy that measurements in decibels are logarithmic which means a 10-fold increase in dB represents a 10 times increase in the pressure in the ear. For example, a 60 dB sound exerts pressure on the ear one of 30 dB a thousand times more noise pollution (10 x 10 x 10).

Interactions of auditory and nervous system

The noises pollution above 120 dB, like a rock band, the loud radio or sound of a small plane taking off, can break the microvillus causing partial or total loss of hearing. In addition, there is a condition called tinnitus which is known as constant ringing in the ear; a painful condition for which treatment is unknown.

The first symptoms after the noise pollution are initially experienced by the nervous and hormonal system. Faced with a sudden loud noise, adrenaline is released and it causes increase in the heart rate, pressure rise in blood and tense on muscles. If the noise is persistent or prolonged, you can lose your hearing. There may be changes as hypertension (high blood pressure), headache, increased cholesterol levels, gastric ulcer, and irritability, loss of appetite, insomnia and psychological damage.

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