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This entry was posted on 29th July 2017 by Gary.
What are some of the most annoying sounds? We experience all sorts of noises throughout the day but there are some we really cannot stand, and even worse, there's many that could harm your hearing.
Scroll on to see the 10 most annoying sounds.
Noise is an inevitable part of our everyday lives and unfortunately, it can be detrimental to our hearing. However, as it can be difficult to avoid on occasions, people usually become annoyed and irritable when exposed to it.
The human brain is programmed to protect itself from any harm and to become alert and anxious when it picks up danger. Many sounds of a particular frequency and decibel level are perceived by the brain as a potential attack (such as alarms, sirens or horns) and evoke a sense of emergency. That raises the adrenaline level and increases the heart rate. If the danger is not real, as it is with many noises that we experience every day, this leads to irritation.
The human ear is sensitive to a wide range of frequencies but we hear most sounds in the 2000-4000 Hertz range. While some people may adjust to specific shrill and high pitch sounds and not lose concentration, e.g. at a noisy workplace, these sounds can be detrimental to the ear and can cause tinnitus and hearing loss. That is why it is very important not to tolerate an environment where there is constant noise. When that is unavoidable, the necessary measures should be taken in order to protect one’s hearing.
Various studies around the world have tried to find the reason why some noises and annoying sounds are so unpleasant compared to others. While it is true that annoyance is individual, there are some sounds that can be defined as universally irritating.
An experiment conducted by Trevor Cox, a professor of Acoustic Engineering at Salford University, made some interesting findings about the sounds that provoke the most irritation. Some of the most annoying sounds that were voted by the participants included microphone feedback, babies crying and the squeaking sound of a seesaw.
Since the 2010 Football World Cup, vuvuzelas have gathered a substantial amount of resentment. A study conducted by New Scientist found out that vuvuzelas are not only annoying but also very dangerous for hearing. Listening to the sound they produce from 1 meter exposes the ear to 116 decibels. Spending more than 22 seconds in that environment is beyond the allowed work noise level.
Numerous noises could be defined as irritating depending on the particular individual. Some people find sounds that others make bothersome but do not mind when they make them personally.
Below is a list of some of the most common annoying sounds:
What is important to note is that perception is dependent on personality and very often on mood. It may be surprising to know that many noises (from 1 to 3) are all human actions performed on a regular basis and are more connected to perceived manners and behaviour than to a specific volume or frequency level.
We have also built an online hearing test so you can check your hearing in the comfort of your own home. Our free hearing test is simple, takes 3-minutes, as you will receive your results instantly.
Results will indicate if you should take further action to protect your hearing.
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This entry was posted in Hearing Information, Opinion and tagged Hearing loss on 29th July 2017 by Gary.
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