21/10/2014 | Environment

Does noise affect your health?

Many effects on our health have been discovered in recent years which are caused by prolonged exposure to noise, and they are increasingly serious. They range from the most immediate (well-known to all) such as stress, lack of rest, irritability, anxiety or lack of concentration … to the most recent studies (done mainly by the World Health Organisation) which have found a strong correlation between noise pollution and cardiovascular disease (such as high blood pressure and myocardial infarction).

This is because when our bodies are exposed for long periods to levels in excess of 65 dB, they generate a hormonal and nervous response which leads to a temporary increase in blood pressure and the heart rate, vasoconstriction, increased blood viscosity and increased levels of lipids and electrolytes in the blood, all cardiovascular risk factors.

It has also been seen that the chronic stress produced by prolonged exposure to noise in large cities (mainly from traffic, works, etc…) may reduce the organism’s defences or make it more susceptible to viruses and bacteria. And as if that were not enough, it also affects cognitive levels, reducing performance at work and at school.