Hearing Pollution

It is the image society we are told … but the sound that is being done? Yet clear, serious, sharp, dull, soft, strong, lightweight, … the sound around us.

There is no medical emergency and would not necessarily account: according to WHO, 278 million people worldwide are suffering from moderate to profound hearing loss. Three types of noise are responsible for this situation: listening too loud sounds, poor architectural acoustics and digital sound manipulation.

Noise is the source of two types of adverse effects on health. It can induce physiological effects such as hearing damage, cardiovascular and perturbation of sleep, and psychological effects such as changes in behavior of the individual in relation to psychiatric disorders or psychomatiques (anxiety, depression). For people accustomed to high sound intensities, we talk about addictiveness neurotransmitters

Noise pollution and its health effects

Noise is the source of two types of adverse effects on health. It can induce physiological effects such as hearing damage, cardiovascular and perturbation of sleep, and psychological effects such as changes in behavior of the individual in relation to psychiatric disorders or psychomatiques (anxiety, depression). For people accustomed to high sound intensities, we talk about addictiveness neurotransmitters.

The morphology of the ear

Three steps are involved in the process of hearing: the reception, transmission and perception. The ear consists of three parts:

-The outer ear, including the flag and the ear canal is connected to the reception

-Middle ear, where are located the eardrum and ossicles allows transmission

-And the inner ear is the cochlea that is related to perception. The cochlea is lined with hair cells, sensory cells that are not renewable.

Digital sound and figures

According to a European report, 50 to 100 million EU citizens use every day a player (73% and 52% by walking during their leisure) and 1 million of these users are likely to become deaf to listen too hard and too often. A survey conducted by IPSOS shows that these are 15-19 year olds who have the highest risk behaviors. They listen to music too loudly and often on player. The institute has done for Ad’Hoc JNA (Association for the National Day of Hearing) a survey of thousands of young people highlighting the following figures:

– Under 25 years listening to music with their walkman for 1:38 each day.

– The 15-17 year olds were on average 2 to 3 hours of listening.

– 40% of 12-14 year olds surveyed listen to their music player to do their homework.

– 73% of those surveyed set their player to average power and 18% at high power.

– And 37% of 15-19 year olds exhibit hearing impairment in daily life.

Loudness: ear in danger

According to experts, the current generation, the player’s risk of experiencing hearing loss at 50-55 years, ten years earlier than at present. And nearly 10 million young people are likely to experience a partial or total loss of hearing. The culprits: walkmans, amplified music concerts, nightclubs, the firing of firecrackers during fireworks, alarms and even mobile phones.

Anatomically feasible, the hearing loss is the deterioration of hair cells in the inner ear. Exposure to very high sound levels causes the pressure in the cochlea, which can blow hair cells. Now the hair cells do not occur. Their irreparable loss results in permanent impairment of hearing with or without tinnitus. Also sounds too high can a phenomenon of shock waves perforate the eardrum or cause a dislocation of the ossicles. According to Dr. Jean-Michel Klein, Secretary General of the National Union of Physicians specializing in ENT, early treatment with corticosteroids after a review with audiogram, may limit the loss of hearing.

With young children, are also precautions to take. The ear canal of a young child is much smaller than an older child or adult. Sound pressure entering his ear was bigger. An infant may indeed perceive a sound of 20 decibels for more than an older child or adult.

A noise is too intense, too high is therefore a real danger. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, over 15 min exposure to 100 decibels can damage hearing. Noise in a football stadium can reach 100 to 130 decibels. Also discos and concerts, despite the regulation of 100 dB, very often beyond.

Meglena Kuneva, European Commissioner for Consumer Protection, wishes prior to September 2011, the volume at the ignition of players is limited to 80 decibels. Experts estimate the tolerable limit for listening on the duration to 85 dB.

Reverberation of sound: ear in danger

The acoustics of the places can also cause hearing problems. The sound waves are returned by the walls, floor, ceiling, windows, tables … and they continue to spread after their issuance. The comfort noise with sound absorbing walls should therefore be taken into account.

Audio compression: ear in danger

The compression sounds by digital technologies can also damage our hearing, the tiring and turning. The method of compression is apparent in the years 6O with rock. This technique involves manipulating sounds for low back all the sounds between 5 and 30 decibels and make sounds louder. With the manipulation of sounds, there are more shades of sound, nuances of musical modulations of natural sounds, the silences are deleted, so our auditory system in increasing demand is likely to tire more quickly. However, this compression is everywhere in the media: television, radio, MP3, video games. It is therefore likely to transform the way we hear, receive the sound in “sanitizing” the modulation sounds.

More noise corridor, it may please, but … no longer hear the noise of cars, noise, voice, sound of insects, noise of wings, the sounds of words, sounds discussions, wind noise, noise, rain noise from home , the sounds of dishes, footsteps, sounds of laughter, sounds of sobbing … the world is sad, no?

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