There’s no doubt that living under a flight path or close to a busy highway is far from relaxing, but researchers have reinforced how bad noise exposure can be for your health.
In a review of previously published studies, noise pollution was not only found to be associated with annoyance, stress, sleep disturbance, and impaired cognitive performance. It was also linked to serious cardiovascular problems like arterial hypertension, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and strokes.
“Noise is not just causing annoyance, it actually makes us sick,” lead author, Dr. Thomas Münzel, told Newsweek.
A single burst of jackhammering is unlikely to affect you, but constant exposure to these kinds of sounds can have a lasting impact. It’s believed that sound above 60 decibels can trigger a stress reaction within the body, which releases hormones like cortisol that can eventually damage the heart.
And it’s not just your heart at risk – Munz warns that chronic noise can lead to type 2 diabetes, depression, and anxiety disorders.
"As the percentage of the population exposed to detrimental levels of transportation noise are rising, new developments and legislation to reduce noise are important for public health," Dr Thomas Munzel said in a statement.