May 23, 2018, 10:33 am IST
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NOISE -The villain

NOISE -The villain

Mrs. Dayana Devassy, MASLP, May 04, 2018

You are the villain, who alleviates my hearing when exposed to,

you are the culprit, I welcome during festive,

you are the cheaty rascal, whom everyone calls upon during a traffic jam,  

you creep and crawl in my daily life and eats off my cute little cochlear inner hair cells….

Noise can be described as an unwanted sound. Noise has become an unavoidable part of our life. Ranging from traffic noise to industrial noise and community noise it has a tremendous impact on hearing. Occupational noise exposure was initially termed as ‘boilermaker disease’ depicting it as the major cause of hearing loss. Noise exposure can lead to shift in our hearing threshold which can be either temporary or permanent. Permanent shift in hearing is irreversible and the extent of this shift depends on intensity, duration of exposure and type of noise.

According to WHO, about 16% of hearing disability in adults can be attributed to occupational noise induced hearing loss. This scenario is not very different in India. Newspapers have reported that,  a lot of youngsters are landing in hospitals with symptoms of tinnitus (humming sound in the ears) because of prolonged use of gadgets like earphones, headphones and mobile phones and they risk thermal and high-frequency hearing loss, says Indian Medical Association (IMA).Moreover, studies have shown that, attending night club with music at 110 decibel for one minute, listening to MP3 player at 95 decibel for more than 15 minutes and traveling in a metro with noise at 90 decibel for one hour are all instances of amplified music exposure and even one of these activities in a single day would exceed noise at work regulations for the day(India Education diary, 10/3/2017).The global ranking prepared by researchers at Mimi and Charite University Hospital in Berlin by combining information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Norwegian-based technology research group, SINTEF, to create a noise pollution index, ranked Delhi as first on a list of 50 world cities where hearing was most degraded and In the World Hearing Index, Delhi ranked second in the list of cities with the most noise and maximum hearing loss when taken together(Hindustan Times, 4/3/2017).

Although there is a dearth of information regarding the prevalence and impact of hearing loss in relation to specific source of noise, it can be told that the incidence of noise induced hearing loss has been increasing. Awareness and prevention should be the sole motive to fight against this villain. Those identified with susceptibility of Noise Induced Hearing Loss ought to undergo periodic audiological evaluation and use ear protection devices like ear plug, ear muff as recommended by an Audiologist. Let’s say no to horns and let our celebrations not hinder our own hearing.   

Mrs. Dayana Devassy, MASLP

Lecturer, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology

Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kochi, Kerala

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