Noise Is Hurting Our Health In More Ways Than We Realize

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Constant noise isn’t just annoying — it might actually hurt our health beyond hearing loss, according to a new review published in The Lancet.

A team of researchers from the U.S. and Europe analyzed published literature on the effects of noise on health, and found associations between noise and heart disease, cognitive performance, sleep problems and hospital patient outcomes. This is all in addition to the more obvious deleterious effects of noise on our hearing abilities.

Take sleep, for instance. When we’re sleeping, our auditory system is still awake and capable of recognizing outside events, study researcher Mathias Basner, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc., an assistant professor of sleep and chronobiology in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, explained to HuffPost. Noise negatively affects sleep quality similarly to a sleep condition like sleep apnea — where brief pauses in breathing through the night lead to disturbed sleep — because noise can wake people up several times throughout the night without them even realizing it.

“You’re briefly waking up throughout the night, and it doesn’t even have to be consciously,” he said.

In addition, chronic noise exposure can lead to increases in blood pressure and excretion of stress hormones. “If that happens over years and years and years, that could actually contribute to cardiovascular health outcomes, stroke and so on,” Basner said.

Researchers also mentioned in the review that noise could affect health by increasing stress levels and blood pressure levels, which can therefore take a toll on heart health. Noise exposure could also have an impact on mental functioning of children by prompting “communication difficulties, impaired attention, increased arousal, learned helplessness, frustration, noise annoyance, and consequences of sleep disturbance on performance,” they wrote in the review.

Hospital noise from machines, conversations and pagers — particularly in intensive care units — has also been linked in research to worsened patient outcomes through increased cardiovascular stress and longer healing times, among other factors. The researchers noted in the review that health care providers could also be negatively affected by noise:

Evidence of negative effects of noise on hospital staff is increasing, particularly for nurses, with noise-induced stress linked to burnout, diminished well-being, and reduced work performance. Substantial proportions of staff report annoyance, irritation, fatigue, and tension headaches, which they assign to the noisy workplace environment. Noise also affects speech intelligibility and could therefore lead to misunderstandings that result in medical errors.

Basner pointed out that the studies included in the review were either cross-sectional — which is not considered a strong type of study design — or retrospective — which are based on memory, and thus subject to human recall error. A robust, prospective study is needed to fully examine the associations between noise and health, he said, and because no such research exists yet, it’s hard to say what maximum levels of noise exposure are considered safe.

Of course, noise is not singular — it often happens in tandem with other potentially unhealthy factors. So what’s the point where noise from traffic causes a health issue, versus the air pollution that comes from car emissions? And what about the possibility that people who live closer to highways might also be of a lower socioeconomic status than those who can afford to live in gated areas far away from major roads, and it’s the socioeconomic factors that actually hurt health? “That is always a big problem in these studies,” Basner noted. “Epidemiologists call them confounding factors — a noisy area will have more pollutants, so noise is related to air pollutants: It’s hard to tease them apart.”

But still, he said, other studies have taken into account these other variables and adjusted for them in statistical models, so the review still identifies a clear association between noise in particular and health.

And while it’s impossible to steer clear of noise altogether, Basner says that avoiding it and contributing less to noise levels are good strategies to take. For instance, if your house faces a noisy roadway, sleep in the back part of the home that’s further away from the road, he suggested. He also recommended using noise-canceling headphones to limit noise exposure to your ears.

By: Amanda L. Chan
Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

2013-10-30T12:13:26+00:00

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    Hi, thanks for the question.

    Lets go through one thing at a time. Your overall schedule and lifestyle is not healthy and will likely sabotage your health goals. Receiving so little sleep will prevent major weight loss because your body cannot cleanse and cannot recharge. You must repay your energy debt before you can properly lose weight. Your body is always in a state of playing catch-up to the workload you are giving it. It stores fat because it doesn't have the
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    "Go Vegan the Healthy way" or
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    As far as your mindset is concerned an all or nothing approach rarely breeds success. Especially when it come to regaining health or losing weight. It takes time and patience. I would recommend checking out the DVD
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    Hope this helps,

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLCE

    www.theveganeffect.com

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    Q: WHAT TYPE OF HERBAL MEDICINE DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR ADHD FOR KIDS BECAUSE THAT RITALIN IS NOTHING BUT POISON AND IT'S HURTING MY CHILD. I ALSO WANT TO KNOW WHAT KIND OF HERBAL MEDICINE TO USE AS A SLEEP AIDE BEACAUSE HE ALSO HAS TROUBLE FALLING TO SLEEP AT NIGHT, THE DOCTORS HAVE HIM ON CLONIDINE, I WANT HIM OFF ALL THAT MAN MADE POISON THE DOCTORS ARE PRESCRIBINING HIM SO THE PHARMACUTICAL COMPANIES CAN GET RICH. I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH YOU ABOUT THAT TRILLION DOLLAR MONEY MAKER THE GOVERNMENT.

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    Q: Thank you so much for doing all that you do. I wish that you were in my everyday life...If I ever come to Cali, I hope to be able to take you up on some of your services. I have given your site out to many people that cross my paths...most recently, a man with diabetes who is going blind. He seemed to be quite thankful for your info...I do hope that he contacts you...and my friend who perhaps has a problem with a parasite(s). But me....okay just waiting for tax refund and then I will hit you up for another full-body detox...and perhaps a parasite kit myself...as it is sad but true..with my current boyfriend careless but kind...I now have a problem with genital herpes...a small breakout every other month...I eat well for the most part...ofcourse it could be better. But the stress is hish...I am working on that. But my question is...would an air purifier do me any good? You see I live in Dundalk, Maryland...near baltimore...near a Steel plant, and a yeast plant, and close to the military practice bombing sites, and other military negative stuff, and the city polluted with car pollution, tons of light pollution, and they spray for mosquitos...then I go to work and I work at a place called ABC Supply...great place right, well the stress is high, and the building we work in is shot...I swear there is mold under the carpets in one of the rooms...the ceiling is constantly leaking and we don't know what from...and the fumes from forklifts and the asphalt from the shingles...the filterfrom the intake gets changed like once a year...but is filled with 'shit' probably in a day or week. So the answer is to get a new job and move...yeah I know...I just don’t know how to do it...or where to go. Since I moved here, I have a problem with my ears...filling up with water or histimine or whatever...usually if I don't drink enough water near my menstrual cycle...I went to a doctor once and basically walked out of the office telling him what to do for his cold...yasee..he was no help...I knew more than him already....these past two years have been bad for allergies. Now, my ears and my throat...my nose too...though I do clean it out with water and that helps. I am not the only one. In the past two years there is a great number of people who say the same thing...they have never had a problem with allergies until these past two years. My grandmother and next door neighbor are two..but many more...well they just started up that steel mill again probably about that time...they sprayed hard core for mosquitos right before my grandmother started having problems...global warming for one...and i dont' know..but two years ago I was involved with a group of people sending out petitions against an LNG liquid natural gas plant that would bring in a ship two times the size of a football field and a huge pipe line to pennsylvania, and a skyscraper of a building to store the gas. Well...we fought against it...but apparently the gas company has more say than our own local government...I don't know...but hear about it every once in a while that they are still trying to get it built. So, an air purifier?? what do you think? Much Love and Health and Thanks!! Peace, RESPONSE: Thank you so very much for your words, Beloved. Much obliged from the heart!

    A:

    In regards to your question: Oh yes! By all means purchase an air purifier or an ozone machine (which will actually be best or better for you). Make sure you detox (FULL BODY DETOX) periodically, consume ACTIVATED CHARCOAL, and take plenty of IODINE PHOSPHATE as sea weed is great for neutralizing the effects of radiation.

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    Q: Is it safe to take herbal sleep remedies (valerian night for example), every night? Or should they only be taken occasionally?

    A:

    Herbal remedies are completely safe for daily use.

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    Q: I started the Full Body Cleanse program on August 25th. Three days later, detox symptoms became so severe that I discontinued taking it on September 4th. However, I want to resume but feel that I need some assistance from you in terms of what might be the best way to do so in order that I can continue with my daily activities. Symptoms of most concern included: uncontrollable coughing, tightness in chest, increased blood pressure and severe headache. When I noted that the symptoms were increasing in intensity, I discontinued taking the Full Body Cleanse herbs,(after 10 days). 3 days after discontinuing the programs, the symptoms have subsided to a degree that I can continue with my daily activities. I want to resume the program but want to do so at a rate that I can function during the day and sleep at night without hours of intensive coughing. What suggestions do you have? About me: I am AA 60 Y.O. female who has been a raw vegan for the past 7 years. My doctor insists that I remain on the following medications: Levoxyl Tab 0.05 mg; Avapro 150mg; and Estradiol patch for thyroid condition, hypertension and menopause, respectively. Noteworthy, I discontinued taking all med 3 days prior to starting Full Body Cleanseand have not starting taking them again. My goal is to be free of such poisons.

    A:

    To continue the Full Body Cleanse, cut dosage from 5 capsules to 2-3 capsules. It is a very powerful cleanse. The symptoms you are experiencing is part of the healing crisis taking place. The herbal supplements are trying to counteract the toxicity in your body, and thus attempting to rid of them via one of your major eliminative channels.