From the time we enter this world, we are surrounded by noise. We awake to the buzzing of an alarm clock, and struggle through car horns and trains to get to work. While these events in isolation may be insignificant to one’s hearing sensitivity or physiological health, it has been found that prolonged early exposure to noise can have both short and long-term consequences to an individual’s life. These negative consequences include difficulty with cognitive development, psychological distress, noise-induced tinnitus, and permanent noise-induced hearing loss. These researched consequences shed light on the importance of preventive actions and hearing health awareness for parents, educators, and health professionals.
NOISE AND COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
Early noise exposure has been shown to affect cognitive development in children. These adverse effects to cognitive function include reading comprehension, long-term memory, and attention/concentration (Corra et. al, 2009). A review by Bridget M. Shield outlines “the effects of chronic noise exposure on children are problems with sustained attention and visual attention; poorer auditory discrimination and speech perception; poorer memory for tasks; and poorer reading ability” (Shield et. al, 2003). Other studies have revealed that, aside from just learning, children chronically exposed to noise are less motivated when placed in achievement situations, and tend to have a lower frustration tolerance (Bistrup et. al, 2001). This wide range of negative effects on cognitive development at such a pivotal time-period in the learning process are destined to effect the child’s educational progress thr.
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