If you live in a city area, chances are you are familiar with the 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 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.
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 L.A., NYC, 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 noise map, you can also read what NPR had to say about it!
Living in a noisy area can’t always be avoided but if you know your area is loud you can help prevent hearing loss by spreading awareness. Make sure you and your family avoid prolonged exposure to areas of high traffic, construction, or other city 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. You can easily visit a Whisper Hearing Center location to have your hearing tested and to speak with our friendly hearing specialists about any of your concerns.