If you live in a city area, chances are you are familiar with the neighborhood noise that comes along with it. Morning, evening, and all hours in between loud noises have the potential to put hearing at risk. Between airports, highways, sports venues, and construction, cities often carry the most at risk neighborhood noise levels with the largest group of people exposed. If you’ve ever wondered just how noisy your neighborhood is, there is a new interactive map that you can use to figure out where your neighborhood stands.
Where are the noisy neighborhoods near you?
This interactive noise map displays data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics to visualize just how loud cities across America can be. You’ll notice a few bright hotspots such as Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago really stand out amongst the crowd. These areas expose residents to as much as 80 or more decibels of transportation noise a day! You can easily zoom in on areas that contain blue spots which represent 90+ decibels. In those areas, using ear protection is crucial to protecting your hearing on a daily basis.
This map is great for anyone who is looking to move to a new area, while this may not be the most important factor in buying a new home, it should be a consideration. You can protect your families hearing by opting to live in a quieter, surrounding suburb of a city and you can avoid surprisingly noisy spots that you may not have thought of originally. To learn more about this neighborhood noise map, you can also read what NPR had to say about it.
Does a noisy neighborhood impact property values?
Living in a noisy area can’t always be avoided, especially if you live in a big city, in a suburban area with lots of highways or near an airport. Of course, some of the most expensive areas of the country are also our biggest cities, such as New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. You can, however, help prevent hearing loss by spreading awareness. According to realtor.com, noise levels can even impact your property's value, "Quieter areas are generally deemed more desirable, and real estate prices tend to reflect that."
Workplace noise can also impact you
Even if you live in a relatively quiet neighborhood, is your workplace noisy? If you are exposed to common hearing hazards in the workplace, you may want to pay special attention to your hearing. You can take steps to prevent hearing loss, including downloading a decibel meter on your cell phone.
Make sure you and your family avoid prolonged exposure to areas of high traffic, construction, or other neighborhood noise without any hearing protection. If you know you’ll be at a loud event coming up, be sure to pack a few inexpensive foam ear plugs so you can protect your hearing and still enjoy your day or evening! And always remember to get periodic hearing check ups to ensure that your ears are still just as keen as they have always been.
Do you have hearing loss?
Hearing loss often happens gradually, over time. If you live in a noisy environment and are constantly exposed to beeping horns, airplanes taking off nearby or by a construction site, you may not notice any reduction in your hearing. We welcome you to make an appointment for a complimentary hearing assessment* to discuss your hearing and identify areas of weakness.