EDITORIAL| Too much noise

EACH day, we are bombarded by so much noise from the community, workplace, entertainment establishments or wherever we go. The ear splitting volume of the TV from our neighbors, the cardiac-arrest inducing rock music blaring from tricycles and, before we reach the office, the tooting of the PUJ’s horn to attract passengers, assault our senses without let up.

And if we look at the young people today, the ubiquitous earphone plugged like an excess body appendage attached to an ipod or cellphone has become the norm. All these surely have adverse effects on our hearing.

It is feared that the next generation will suffer hearing impairment of some form.

In an article written by Lisa Goines, RN and Louis Hagler, MD, entitled “Noise Pollution: A Modern Plague” they said that the  “major cause of hearing loss is occupational exposure, although other sources of noise, particularly recreational noise, may produce significant deficits. Studies suggest that children seem to be more vulnerable than adults to noise induced hearing impairment.”

The article also said that  “noise induced hearing impairment may be accompanied by abnormal loudness perception (loudness recruitment), distortion (paracusis), and tinnitus. Tinnitus may be temporary or may become permanent after prolonged exposure.” The authors claim that the results of hearing loss are “loneliness, depression, impaired speech discrimination, impaired school and job performance, limited job opportunities, and a sense of isolation.” (www.medscape.com)

Those who complain of ringing in their ears should go to a specialist for medical check up. This is also true to those who cannot seem to get instructions right or who think they are insulted when if fact they can only hear snippets of conversations that are most often devoid of context. There could be many who remain undiagnosed and untreated.

Just like all other senses, the sense of hearing is important to our well-being but it is seldom discussed. Noise pollution is an issue of great concern and the newly elected legislators should look into it.

Posted in Opinion