Noise (sound) . In the environment , noise is defined as any unwanted sound. From this point of view, the most exalted music can be described as noise by that person who at a certain moment wants to hear it or not.

The expression noise as synonymous with noise pollution, is referring to a noise (sound), with a high intensity (or a sum of intensities), which can even be harmful to human health. Against excessive noise, earplugs and earmuffs are used (earphones, which contain electronics that decrease the dB of outside noise, reducing them or making your hearing more pleasant), in order to avoid hearing loss. (which, if left unchecked, can lead to deafness).

On the contrary, noises are also simple or complex sounds but disharmonious and of very high intensity, generating intolerance or pain in the ear and a feeling of displeasure in the individual.


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  • 1 Limits
  • 2 noise pollution
  • 3 Effects of noise on health
    • 1 Auditory effects
      • 1.1  Temporal shift of hearing threshold
      • 1.2  Permanent shift of hearing threshold
    • 2  Interference in oral communication
    • 3  Non-auditory effects
      • 3.1  Psychopathological effects
      • 3.2  Psychological effects
    • 4 Other effects
  • 4 Sources


The issuing entities can produce a high level of noise, but the limits are adjusted to the sensory capacity of the person, where the noise (sound) goes from being tolerable to harmful, environments with more than 65 decibels (dB) are considered unacceptable .
Below 80 dB the human ear does not present definitive alterations. These levels generate temporary discomfort called auditory fatigue, where the transducer elements (inner ear) do not suffer definitive problems. When the intensity exceeds 90 dB, major irreversible injuries begin to appear, the greater the exposure and personal susceptibility.

noise pollution

Noise pollution (or auditory pollution) is the excess of sound that alters the normal conditions of the environment in a certain area. Although noise does not accumulate, move or persist over time like other types of pollution, it can also cause great damage to people’s quality of life if it is not properly controlled. The main causes of noise pollution are those related to human activities such as transportation, construction of buildings and public works, industries, among others.

Effects of noise on health

Noise in the home.

 auditory effects

The auditory system suffers from prolonged exposure to a noise source, even if it is low level.
Hearing deficit caused by environmental noise is called socioacusis.
A person, when exposed to an excessive noise level for a long time, notices a whistling sound in the ear, this is an alarm signal. Initially, the damage caused by prolonged exposure is not permanent, after 10 days it disappears. However, if the exposure to the noise source does not cease, the injuries will be permanent. The deafness will grow until hearing is completely lost.
Not only prolonged noise is harmful, a sudden sound of 160dBa, such as an explosion or a gunshot, can perforate the eardrum or cause other irreversible damage.

   Temporal shift in threshold of hearing

It consists of an elevation of the threshold produced by the presence of a noise, with full recovery after a period, as long as the exposure to it is not repeated. It usually occurs during the first hour of noise exposure.

Permanent shift in hearing threshold

It is the same effect described above but aggravated by the passage of time and exposure to noise. When someone is subjected to numerous exposures and for long periods (several years), the recovery of the threshold becomes slower and more difficult, until it becomes irreversible. The permanent displacement of the hearing threshold is directly linked to presbyacusis (loss of hearing sensitivity due to the effects of age). The deafness produced by the permanent displacement of the hearing threshold affects both ears and with the same intensity.

Interference in oral communication

Communication intelligibility is reduced due to background noise. The ear is a transducer and does not discriminate between noise sources, the separation and identification of sound sources occurs in the brain . As is known, the human voice produces sound in the range of 100 to 10,000 Hz, but verbal information is in the range of 200 to 6,000 Hz. The frequency band determined for speech intelligibility, that is, understanding words and sentences, is between 500 and 2,500 Hz. Interference in oral communication during work activities can cause accidents caused by the inability to hear warning calls or other indications.

non-auditory effects

Noise pollution, in addition to affecting the ear, can cause negative psychological effects and other pathophysiological effects. Of course, noise and its non-auditory negative effects on behavior and mental and physical health depend on personal characteristics, it seems that the stress generated by noise is modulated depending on each individual and each situation.

  psychopathological effects

At more than 60 dBa :

  • Dilation of the pupils and rapid blinking.
  • Respiratory agitation, rapid pulse and tachycardia.
  • Increased blood pressure and headache.
  • Lower blood supply and increased muscle activity. The muscles become tense and painful, especially those of the neck and back.

At more than 85 dBa :

  • Decreased gastric secretion, gastritis or colitis.
  • Increased cholesterol and triglycerides, with the consequent cardiovascular risk. In patients with cardiovascular problems, arteriosclerosis or coronary problems, loud and sudden noises can even cause a heart attack.
  • Increases blood glucose. In patients with diabetes, the continuous elevation of blood glucose can cause long-term medical complications.

    psychological effects

  • Insomnia and trouble falling asleep.
  • Stress (due to the increase in stress-related hormones such as adrenaline). Depression and anxiety.
  • Irritability and aggressiveness.
  • Hysteria and neurosis.
  • Social isolation.
  • Lack of sexual desire or sexual inhibition.

Other effects

effects on sleep
Noise makes it difficult to fall asleep and wakes up those who are asleep. Sleep is an activity that occupies a third of our lives and allows us to rest, organize and project our consciousness. Sleep is made up of two types: classic deep sleep (deep sleep stage), which in turn is divided into four different phases), and on the other hand there is paradoxical sleep. It has been shown that sounds of the order of approximately 60 dBA reduce the depth of sleep, this decrease increasing as the amplitude of the frequency band increases, which can wake the individual, depending on the phase of sleep in which they are. and the nature of the noise. It is important to note that surprising weak stimuli can also disturb sleep.
Effects on behavior
Noise produces momentary behavior alterations, which consist of aggressiveness or show an individual with a greater degree of disinterest or irritability. These alterations, which are generally temporary, occur as a result of a noise that causes concern, insecurity or fear in some cases.
effects on memory
In those tasks where memory is used, it has been shown that there is a higher performance in those individuals who are not subjected to noise, because this produces growth in the subject’s activation and this in relation to the performance in certain types of tasks. , produces an overactivation translated into a decrease in performance. Noise slows down articulation in a review task, especially when dealing with unknown or longer words, that is, under noisy conditions, the individual wears down psychologically to maintain their level of performance.
Effects on attention
Noise prevents attention from being focused on a specific activity, causing it to be lost on others. Losing this way the concentration on the activity.
Effects on children
Noise has a negative impact on children’s learning and health. When children are educated in noisy environments, they lose their ability to listen to acoustic signals, suffer disturbances in their ability to listen, as well as a delay in learning to read and verbal communication. All these factors favor the isolation of the child, making him unsociable

Creating a noise guide in a tabular format involves organizing information about different types of noise and their respective characteristics or impacts into a table. Here’s an example of how such a guide might be structured:

  1. Title: Noise Guide
  2. Columns:
    • Type of Noise: Describing different kinds of noise, such as traffic noise, construction noise, white noise, etc.
    • Source: Identifying the common sources for each type of noise.
    • Sound Level (dB): Providing the average decibel levels typically associated with each type of noise.
    • Impact on Health: Briefly outlining the potential health impacts of each noise type, like sleep disturbance, hearing loss, stress, etc.
    • Mitigation Strategies: Suggesting ways to reduce or manage the impact of each type of noise, such as using soundproofing materials, earplugs, noise-cancellation technology, etc.
  3. Rows: Each row would represent a different type of noise, with the corresponding details filled in under each column.

This table would be a useful reference for understanding different noise types, their sources, impacts, and ways to mitigate them.

by Abdullah Sam
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