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Hearing protection can help you avoid fatigue

June 2, 2011
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Very few people count noise as a possible cause of fatigue. But noise can cause hearing loss to exhaustion, according to eHow.com, the “How to do just about anything” information web site.

How does noise possbily contribute to fatigue? A loud noise can trigger the "fight or flight" response in the human body, a reflex against danger. This mechanism increases the body's production of adrenaline and cortisol to allow a rapid response to danger by increasing breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. This can cause fatigue, exhaustion, anger, aggression, physical pain and sleep problems.

Gary Evans, a noise researcher at Cornell University, found even noise that is not excessively noticeable can still have a detrimental effect on the body, such as fatigue. Blood tests of workers in noisy offices revealed elevated levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine, even when they said they were not bothered by the noise.

Dr. Alice H. Suter, an audiologist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and NIOSH, says that noise can have a negative impact on mental health, since noise has been linked to an increase in aggression, decrease in cooperation and suicide.

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