How City noise is slowly killing you
When Kasia Galazka, a 31-year-old marketing writer in Atlanta, hears a car horn, she feels like she’s been electrocuted. “It’s like my nerves are permanently doused in kerosene, and any loud noise is like throwing a match,” she says. “I don’t talk about it often, because I feel like people would think I'm exaggerating or complaining.” But it turns out Galazka’s not overly sensitive or strangely wired—she just might notice the consequences of unexpected sounds more readily than most.
In reality, unwanted auditory stimuli is like health kryptonite; results from the Environmental Burden of Disease project, presented at the latest World Health Organization Ministerial Conference, declared noise pollution to public health, after air pollution. And the problem, directly related to anxiety, is getting worse—right as nationwide anxiety levels have spiked, largely thanks to the political climate. Cancer, heart disease, obesity and myriad other conditions can be exacerbated by stress. If you’re not down with that, it’s not the best time to be living in a city.Go Back