Reducing Noise Pollution Reduces Stress

A quick Google search will reveal countless medical reports proving too much noise is not good for you. It doesn’t take a medical report for a parent to understand noise is bad for you.

I live in an open concept house with all hard floor coverings. The acoustics are incredible. When I’m home alone, I strum my guitar and it sounds like I’m in a concert hall. I’m rarely home alone. Most days the aesthetically pleasing design of my home is an amplifier for kid noise. Kids are already noisy. They don’t need an amplifier.

Dragon eats his friend

As a parent and an elementary school teacher, I am continually exposed to noise. About a year ago I found I was covering my ears a lot. Noise has always bothered me, but since becoming a parent, it is considerably worse. Covering my ears helped me calm down and refocus when the noise was getting to me. My wife also noticed I was having a lot of difficulty hearing her. So I made an appointment with an audiologist.

My hearing was fine, sort of. I spent the better part of my youth playing live music. Turns out the damage from all that noise pollution makes it difficult for me to focus on one particular sound in the presence of other sounds. In other words, with all the noise in my home, I could hear the sound of my wife’s voice but not her words.

I also talked to the specialist about how the noise was really getting to me. The solution: earplugs.

The noise in my home used to get on my nerves. I’d get grouchy and before long I’d be adding to the problem by shouting above the noise for everyone to stop being so loud. Now, I just put in earplugs. Almost instantly, I’m calmer and happier. Earplugs make me a better parent because it reduces the negative effect of the noise pollution. Although it sound counter-intuitive, earplugs improve my hearing in noisy situations. The earplugs cut the background noise so I can better focus on the person speaking to me.

pink earplugs

Now I will admit the earplugs aren’t very fashionable. After a particularly stressful day, we took the kids out for dinner to avoid having to cook at home. The restaurant was very noisy. Instinctively, I pulled out the earplugs I had in my pocket and stuck them in my ears. My wife not so kindly told me I looked like an idiot. They worked so well, I chose looking like an idiot over being overwhelmed by noise.

The audiologist recommended virtually invisible, custom-fit ear pieces with decibel limiting filters at a pretty outrageous price. I opted for hot pink foam from Canadian Tire. After my restaurant experience, I’m considering ordering the custom earplugs.

 

 

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The Beginning
About James Hudyma

Dad. Husband. Teacher. Canadian. Guitar Picker. Songwriter.

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