Both too bright and too loud!

Noise pollution

You are always surrounded by noises from your surroundings, such as those from the TV, radio, appliances, and cars. Unwanted or annoying sound is known as noise pollution. Sometimes the volume of noise pollution might be high enough to cause ear damage and worsen hearing loss. In addition to impairing sleep, noise pollution can exacerbate long-term stress. Diabetes, heart disease, and elevated blood pressure have all been linked to these problems.

Decibels (dB) are the units used to measure sound. Noise levels of 70 dB or less are typically safe and won’t damage your hearing. But sounds can be dangerous if they are excessively loud for a brief period of time. While sometimes loud noises are OK, it’s crucial to give your ears quiet time to heal.

Average sound levels (in dB)

  • An average discussion: 65–80
  • 45–65 for a washing machine or dishwasher
  • Mowers and leaf blowers with petrol engines: 80–100
  • Motorbike: 80–110
  • Sirens: 110–129
  • Fireworks: 140–160

Over 30 million Americans are subjected to dangerous sound levels on a daily basis.

How to safeguard your hearing

To lower your chance of noise-induced hearing damage:

  • Get away from the loudness
  • Put on hearing protection (earmuffs or earplugs, for example).
  • Reduce the level, even if you’re wearing headphones.

To find out more about noise-induced hearing loss, visit the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders’ It’s a Noisy Planet website.

Light pollution

Light pollution is the result of artificial light coming from electronics, houses, streetlights, cars, and buildings. Animals and humans may have issues as a result of this.

Your body produces melatonin differently at night if it is exposed to artificial light. A hormone called melatonin indicates when it’s time to sleep. Your concentration, judgement, memory, and other body functions can all be impacted by sleep deprivation.

Night-migrating birds can also be impacted by bright electric lights. These birds have a tendency to get disoriented and fly into other objects, including buildings and communication towers. According to estimates from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nighttime collisions with communication towers result in the deaths of around 7 million birds annually.

How to cut back on artificial lighting at night

  • Make sure your room is dark for nine or ten hours every night.
  • Put in room-darkening window coverings.
  • When you go to bed, turn off the lights and all electronics in the bedroom. Before you go to sleep, try not to use your phone, watch television, or use the computer.
  • Use a dim red nightlight rather than the room light if you need to use the loo in the middle of the night, for example. Compared to other wavelengths, red light decreases melatonin generation less.
  • Melatonin tablets should only be taken as prescribed by your healthcare physician. Melatonin can further interfere with your circadian cycle.

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