Noise: a real threat to our health

Health LobsterNipples July 25, 2016 0 144
Noise: a real threat to our health

We live in a sound environment more aggressive. And our ears are not the only victims of these nuisances. Other organs may be affected by prolonged exposure to noise.

 Contents of this article
  •  The ear, a complex and fragile organ
  •  Audition: when should you consult?
  •  The effects of noise on health

The ear, a complex and fragile organ

The silence does not exist in nature. The noise is very useful since it serves to inform us or warn us of danger. But beyond a certain limit, it becomes a real aggression to the ear, a particularly complex and fragile body. And, eventually, he eventually wear down the entire organization.

The course of his to the brain

The sound enters the external ear and vibrates the tympanic membrane. Incidentally, it is amplified by the horn and the ear canal. Behind the eardrum are three tiny bones, which in turn transmit this vibration to the inner ear. This will convert the sound into an electrical signal and send it to the brain so it can process information.

At birth, our inner ear consists of 10 000 to 20 000 cells with very fine lashes that vibrate in response to sound. As we age, we lose some of these cells "hair". Excessive noise accelerates this phenomenon. It inexorably destroys these small cells essential for good hearing.

Audition: when should you consult?

The hearing loss can occur suddenly in excess of 110 dB, as it can be very gradual from prolonged exposure to more than 85 dB. Trauma is generated not only by its intensity, but also its duration.

More and more people, whatever their age, are affected by hearing impairment. The extremely widespread practice of listening to music with headphones there is certainly no stranger.

So at the end of a concert, if you have the cotton ears, do not hesitate to consult. Most of the time, these symptoms are transient and disappear after a rest period. But if the repeated noise disturbance, risk is gradually losing hearing. Hence the interest to control the appearance of early warning signals.

Discomfort in noise and tinnitus

"The first sign of hearing loss is to experience discomfort in noise. For example, you have trouble following conversations in a restaurant, "says Dr. Didier Bouccara, ENT physician in Paris.

The hearing impairment may also be manifested by tinnitus or hyperacusis, conditions that are known to support, but not always heal.

In case of acoustic trauma

After being exposed to intense noise levels, whistling or buzzing your ears: consult an audiologist or an emergency service within 48 hours. "The doctor will decide whether to administer a corticosteroid based treatment to protect the inner ear," says Dr. Bouccara.

Read also: Tinnitus: a decision last effective load

You can also call the hotline of the Association France tinnitus that will give the way forward: 0820222213.

The effects of noise on health

Insidiously, noise attacks many body functions.

Heart rate

Prolonged exposure to noise increases the secretion of stress hormones like adrenaline and noradrenaline, which speeds up the heart rate and raises blood pressure. Thus, people who in the day, are exposed to noise from road or air traffic above 70 dB have more risk of developing hypertension.

On sleep

The ear being in permanent sleep state, it collects all the noises of the night and sends them to the brain. The electroencephalogram of a sleeping person records the first disturbances from 35 dB.

In a room exposed to a noise level of 45 dB, sleep latency lengthens. Sleep quality is bound to feel. And the revival is even more difficult ...


Over time, the noise puts a strain on the nerves and can dive the most sensitive of us in anxiety or depression. Several studies note an increase in the use of psychotropic drugs in people living near an airport or a busy road.