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Beyond Hearing Loss, Noise Is an Unspoken Health Threat

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Noise exposure causes more problems than hearing loss. It’s considered an underestimated threat to public health by medical organizations, including the World Health Organization, potentially contributing to cardiovascular problems, disruptions in sleep, mental well-being, work and school performance and more. 

How does noise do this? Like other types of pollution and environmental stressors that build up in our bodies and can contribute to chronic disease – it’s complicated. But a lot of it may come down to how we perceive noise and the cascading stress responses it causes in our bodies. 

And all of this flows back to the heart. Dr. Rachel Bond, a board-certified cardiologist and the system director of women’s heart health with Dignity Health, says chronic exposure to noise releases stress hormones in our body, which leads to inflammation, which can lead to damaged vessels in the body and increase the risk of heart disease. An increased focus on noise pollution as its own source of inflammation and stress join better-known factors that tip the scale of heart health, like…

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