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Home » Why Noise is Bad for Your Health: Mathias Basner (Transcript)

Why Noise is Bad for Your Health: Mathias Basner (Transcript)

Mathias Basner

Mathias Basner studies how the noise we hear everywhere throughout our daily lives affects our health in ways that go far beyond our hearing. In this talk you will discover the science behind how noise affects your health and sleep — and how you can get more of the benefits of the sound of silence. 


Do you hear that? Do you know what that is? Silence. The sound of silence. Simon and Garfunkel wrote a song about it.

But silence is a pretty rare commodity these days, and we’re all paying a price for it in terms of our health — a surprisingly big price, as it turns out.

Luckily, there are things we can do right now, both individually and as a society, to better protect our health and give us more of the benefits of the sounds of silence. I assume that most of you know that too much noise is bad for your hearing.

Whenever you leave a concert or a bar and you have that ringing in your ears, you can be certain that you have done some damage to your hearing, likely permanent. And that’s very important.

However, noise affects our health in many different ways beyond hearing. They’re less well-known, but they’re just as dangerous as the auditory effects.

So what do we mean when we talk about noise?

Well, noise is defined as unwanted sound, and as such, both has a physical component, the sound, and a psychological component, the circumstances that make the sound unwanted. A very good example is a rock concert.

A person attending the rock concert, being exposed to 100 decibels, does not think of the music as noise. This person likes the band, and even paid a hundred dollars for the ticket, so no matter how loud the music, this person doesn’t think of it as noise.

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