- An initiative to take necessary and effective actions to reduce Noise pollution
Kolkata, 26th April, 2023: Noise pollution is one of the most prevalent issues in today’s time affecting across all age groups. CMRI along with Kolkata Police has taken a collaborative initiative called “Silence Heals” to take necessary safeguards towards noise pollution.
Dr. NVK Mohan, Otologist, ENT and Cochlear Implant Surgeon – CMRI – CK Birla Hospitals; Dr. Suman Mitra, Consultant, Internal Medicine – CMRI – CK Birla Hospitals; Mr. Alok Sanyal, ACP traffic; Ms. Sanghamitra Mukherjee, Director, Gokhale Memorial School; Ms. Indrani Mitra, Principal, Gokhale Memorial School; and Mr. Sujoy Prasad Chatterjee, Artist-Curator-Communicator came together to discussed the harmful effects of noise pollution that we are knowingly and unknowingly exposed to.
According to the reports of the World Health Organization, every living entity will be significantly impacted by continuous exposure to noise levels exceeding 85 dB. On a day-to-day basis, numerous disorders develop due to the psychological and physiological impacts of noise pollution on human health.
One of the major concerns today is how people are unknowingly subjecting themselves to unacceptable levels of noise on a daily basis. Constant loud noise is the primary source of increasing stress levels and blood pressure levels in individuals. People should be aware that the maximum sound level a gadget can produce is 110 to 115 dB; which is enough to make a person turn deaf or cause permanent loss of hearing. Some interesting examples of sound from our daily life activities include quiet breathing which accounts for 10 dB, and a whispered voice can go up to 30 dB. The immediate and basic step of prevention is to lower the sound level in such situations and have a pleasant soothing environment both for leisure or work.
Dr. NVK Mohan, Consultant – Otologist, ENT and Cochlear Implant Surgeon – CMRI – CK Birla Hospitals, explains “One of the major concerns today is how we are knowingly or unknowingly subjecting ourselves to unacceptable levels of noise on a daily basis. Whether it be in traffic, at the gymnasium, at nightclubs or by prolonged use of headphones or earphones we are consistently subjecting ourselves to unacceptable levels of loud noise. While prolonged exposure to noises above 85 dB can lead to hearing loss, sudden exposure to noises at 140 dB can cause deafness instantaneously. Studies have unfortunately shown that up to 1 in 9 teenagers engage in at least one risky behaviour which endangers their hearing and 1 in 6 actually show some symptoms of hearing loss”.
According to Dr. Suman Mitra, Consultant, Internal Medicine, CMRI- CK Birla Hospitals, Kolkata, “The importance of sound is essential in our life but when the level of pollution goes above a certain level, it affects the life in different ways. Many times it has been seen that the tendency to have diabetes or a heart attack increases due to excessive noise. Even the incidence of stroke increases under the influence of noise pollution. It severely causes several health issues in our daily life including increased blood pressure level, incidence of acute heart attack, fluctuating pressures and racing pulses, and also tends to increase the stress hormones like cortisol in the human body.”
The best way to prevent noise induced hearing loss is to practise and inculcate certain basic healthy habits.
- Rule of 60 – Headphones or ear phones should not be used beyond 60% volume of the device and for no more than 60 minutes a day. Noise cancelling headphones are better in this regard.
- Avoid noisy places/nightclubs/concerts. If you cannot avoid it use foam ear plugs, stay as far away from the source of noise as possible, and limit time spent there.
- If you have early/warning signs of ear damage, seek immediate attention from your ENT surgeon.
- Practise general habits for ear care like avoiding usage of ear buds or bathing in dirty water.
- Lastly, do not contribute to the problem by honking, using loudspeakers/sound boxes etc.
According to Sombrata Roy, Unit Head-CMRI, CK Birla Hospitals, Kolkata says, “Noise pollution is an increasing menace in today’s time affecting the population across all age groups. At CMRI, we have a specialised ENT team which is well equipped to take care of complex ENT procedures and fight deafness. We are committed to the community and would emphasize on our campaign- Silence heals.”