The Sounds Of The City: Preventing Hearing Loss In Busy Urban Areas
There are plenty of reasons to decide to live in a bustling metropolitan area. After all, a city means more chances for exciting evening activities, a plethora of restaurants, and a lot of work-related chances, too. But for those who live in bustling cities, there is also a lot to deal with that takes a lot out of one’s body after repeated years without time in the country. Whether it’s the stress of dealing with sharing a space with millions of people or a constant racket that makes sleeping difficult, plenty of different factors make life in a big city a lot to deal with.
Some of the biggest problems with living in a city aren’t even obvious to those who make metropolises their home. For most cities around the world, hearing is becoming a factor for those who are unaware that decibel levels continue to rise, despite the fact that apartments aren’t becoming soundproofed any more quickly. And sometimes, it’s not even the trouble of having neighbors blaring television sets or competing with stereo volumes that causes stress. Hearing problems related to constant traffic and the white noise of action are causing more people to experiencing hearing loss earlier and earlier. Add to this the fact that portable music players are more commonplace but noise-canceling headphones haven’t quite caught on, and it’s a whole lot more difficult to prevent hearing loss in a city than most residents realize.
As far as the traffic noises are concerned, there aren’t that many options for those with apartments. There is the possibility of looking for a place to live on a higher floor, since noise has more trouble reaching those who are higher up, but this sometimes isn’t possible. Another helpful hint for those who might be looking for an apartment and who aren’t stuck in a lease is searching in newer buildings. Here, the chance of having thicker glass or a place that adheres to more contemporary standards is greater, meaning that the noise and distractions of the city will feel further away. But for those who can’t search for a new place to live, there are certainly less options available, meaning it’s important to look at other measures to prevent stress and problems with health and hearing.
One essential step towards dealing with city living is not trying to drown out neighbors, as tempting as it might be. Because when there is an apartment next door with a blaring television set, turning up the volume on one’s stereo or television doesn’t actually help. It just creates more noise, and the other party is likely to increase the volume of their device, too, meaning no peace and just a whole lot of noise. And these levels of noise, as harmless as they might seem, are part of the reason that people are experiencing troubles with hearing earlier and earlier. So if a loud neighbor is causing stress, the best solution is usually either dealing with it, or investing in some earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to enjoy one’s own preferred music or entertainment.
Those who find themselves stuck commuting for hours and hours are often tempted to invest in portable music players, which are great for enjoying some of one’s own tunes while on the go. But the trouble is that construction sounds, the noise of the subway, and everything else means that volume levels often have to be high to make out one’s favorite songs. And with the headphones that come with most music players, there is no chance to cancel out noise. This means that those using them are simply pumping loud noises into ear canals, without any sort of protection or minimizing device. And this means more instances of early onset hearing loss and a general sense of dissatisfaction that comes with not being able to enjoy music on the go in the first place. The better solution is to go without, or to only listen to mp3 players while somewhere that does not require pumping up the volume.
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