Noise is an environmental disturbance not to be accepted lightly.
The health damages caused by noise are:
Physical damage: causes short term or permanent hearing loss, high blood pressure, irregular heart beat, increased adrenalin flow, disrupts kidney function and brings about exhaustion.
Mental damage: causes a sense of panic, causes nervous breakdown, irritates, disrupts concentration, the thought process, work and study and causes restlessness.
A 30 decibel noise level is considered quiet.
A 60 decibel noise level is considered loud and disruptive.
An 80 decibel noise level is considered damaging and excessive and disruptive.
There is no dispute that prolonged and frequent exposure to high level noises may cause damage to hearing.
There is also empirical evidence to suggest there are individual variations in the level of sensitivity, even in the noise levels exceeding 100 decibels.
Some of the research studies also deal with the psychological detriment of hearing loss, which are similar to the subjective reactions of loss of vision capacity.
In addition to the hearing loss, the following physiological phenomena and physical illnesses have been linked to exposure to noise:
Heart and blood vessel diseases: high blood pressure, even young children exposed to long term and loud noise- such as when their school is located near an airport - may suffer the detrimental effects of these symptoms.
De-synchronisation of the brain waves
Endocrine system changes, such as an increase in adrenal gland and cortical hormone secretions.
Digestive system changes mainly reflected in frequent nausea and reflux, at times accompanied by strong headaches.
Many noises may be experienced subjectively as a nuisance even if there is no health detriment. However, even the effect of these noise sources at time extends beyond the sphere of mere nuisance.
Other effects of loud noise include fatigue and sleep disorders, increase in stress and anxiety, severe mood changes and clinical depression as well as erectile dysfunction.
Long term exposure to noise may adversely affect intellectual, occupational and social faculties. It may have an adverse effect on rational decision making while carrying out tasks, increase the risk and susceptibility for accidents and increase interpersonal and intercommunal conflicts.