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The Unexpected Effects of Airport Noise Pollution on Nearby Communities

Team AckoMay 5, 2023

Noise pollution is one of the most pressing environmental issues of our times and it’s no different from the situation in India, with many cities having to cope with the presence of numerous airports. Airport noise can have devastating effects on nearby communities, and it is something authorities should take seriously. In this article, we get to look at 10 of the main impacts of airport noise pollution in India, including the physical and mental health problems as well as economic losses this problem can bring.

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Contents

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1. Hearing Loss

One of the most common health effects of airport noise is hearing loss, particularly among those living in the vicinity of an airport. Given the wide range of noise levels that airports can generate, people can be exposed to dangerously high levels of noise which puts them at risk of damage to their ears. Cochlear damage is a real risk and it can occur in both adults and children living in proximity to an airport if the decibel levels are high enough. Coupled with the fact that airports tend to generate a lot of basses as well and one can see just how hazardous to one’s hearing these noises can be.

2. Sleep Disturbances

Being exposed to constant noise from an airport can lead to people having a harder time sleeping, and some studies have shown that those living near airports can take up to three times longer to fall asleep. That’s because times of high noise levels force people to remain awake and be constantly vigilant, meaning they are unable to relax properly. That creates a vicious cycle where people find it harder to relax as time passes, which in turn can have a damaging effect on their sleep. That’s turn can lead to stress and other mental and physical health problems.

3. Cardiovascular and Hypertension Problems

Noise pollution can be directly linked to heart conditions, with several studies linked exposure to noise from airports and other sources to an increased risk of heart and vascular diseases later on in life. Constant exposure to airport noise has been linked to a higher risk of coronary artery disease due to the stress brought about by the noise, as well as a higher risk of stroke. Constant exposure to noise can also increase one’s risk of hypertension due to the many physiological changes it induces, thus putting those living in close proximity to the airport at a higher risk of such medical conditions.

4. Aggressive Behavior and Anxiety

Being exposed to high levels of stress due to airport noise can lead to people displaying signs of aggression and increased levels of anxiety. Those exposed to airport noise have also been observed to display signs of depression quite frequently in many airport communities, which can in turn lead to even more mental health problems among those living in close proximity to the airport.

5. Quality of Life

Airport noise can drastically reduce one’s quality of life, simply because the exposure to this type of noise can be so overwhelming. People living in communities near airports can’t enjoy a sense of peace and quiet when they come home and this can in turn lead to a reduced quality of life as one will not be able to relax properly in their own homes or neighborhoods. There is also the added economic cost due to the value of the properties being diminished due to the presence of an airport nearby.

6. Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition whereby one experiences a persistent ringing in their ears due to damage to the ears. Noise levels from airports can lead to people developing tinnitus, with the constant sound of airplanes taking off and landing being too loud for them to handle. This can have a detrimental effect on their ability to hear and enjoy life, making it another form of hearing loss that can be attributed to airport noise pollution.

7. Learning Difficulties in Children

Living in close proximity to an airport can lead to children suffering from various learning difficulties, particularly if they had already been exposed to noise levels from the airport even before birth. Studies have also shown that prolonged exposure to airport noise can lead to children having to repeat school grades, or even dropping out due to the stress of constantly having to deal with airport noise.

8. Diminished Cognitive Behavior

Prolonged exposure to airport noise can lead to diminished cognitive behavior among adults, meaning their abilities to think and reason declines over time due to the amount of noise they are exposed to. This can become an even more pressing issue in old age, with memory loss and a decline in basic mental faculties being observed among those who have been exposed to airport noise pollution for a prolonged period of time.

9. Stress

One of the most notable impacts of airport noise is the amount of stress it can place on those living in an airport’s vicinity. Constant exposure to noise can lead to people feeling anxious and fearful due to their inability to relax, leading to a decline in their emotional well-being. One top of that, the fear of – and sometimes even the reality of – economic loss due to the presence of an airport can be extremely stressful for those affected.

10. Economic Loss

Living near airports can lead to economic losses due to the decline in the value of properties. This is especially true in areas that have recently seen an increase in both the number of aircraft and decibel levels. People living in close proximity to the airport can find it increasingly difficult to find buyers due to potential future noise issues and this can lead to huge losses in terms of paper money, something no one wants to experience.

Conclusion

From hearing loss to sleep disturbances and stress, the impacts of airport noise pollution can be severe and difficult to cope with for those affected. It is important that authorities take these matters seriously and take steps to limit the amount of noise airplanes can produce and the locations and length of their routes in order to minimize the toll airport noise can take on those living in their vicinity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to the most asked common questions related to airport noise effecting local communities.

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How is airport noise pollution dangerous?

Airport noise pollution can lead to hearing loss, sleep disturbances, cardiovascular and hypertension problems, aggressive behavior and anxiety, reduced quality of life, tinnitus, learning difficulties in children, diminished cognitive behavior, and stress. It can also lead to economic loss due to the decreased value of properties near airports.

What authorities can take action against airport noise pollution?

Local and federal authorities can take action against airport noise pollution by regulating the number of flights, the route and the length of their trips, and even the type of aircraft or engines used. They can also set boundaries for decibel levels and enforce other restrictions that can help to minimize the amount of noise that airports produce.

How can one protect themselves from airport noise pollution?

The best way to protect oneself from airport noise pollution is by investing in effective soundproofing materials for one’s residence, as well as by using noise-canceling headphones outside the home. One could also invest in green spaces near their home to reduce the impact of noise pollution. Finally, one should also keep in contact with the local authorities to keep abreast of the situation regarding airport noise pollution.

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