Sound Pollution Poses a Serious Threat to Many South Africans
The gradual transition from a pastoral society to an industrial one has resulted in many improvements in the way we live. Today, through the convenience of air travel, we can fly between any of the nation’s major cities within an hour or two, and be anywhere in the world within the space of a day. We no longer have to face long walks to local destinations, or carry heavy shopping bags by hand, thanks to the ubiquitous motor car. For those who may not own a vehicle of their own, public transport offers the option of taxis, busses and trains. In the nation’s factories, the days of labour-intensive manufacturing have long been replaced by automated machinery that requires minimal input from its human attendants. Even our entertainment is now delivered directly to our eyes and ears through the modern miracles of television, radio and the internet.
The Alarming Increase in Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
While it may be true that the pair of facial appendages known as ears are not necessarily the most attractive of everyone’s features, a journey along the auditory canal reveals a structure of delicate beauty and precision beyond the tympanic membrane, in the middle chambers of the auditory system. Known as ossicles, the triad of tiny bones, consisting of the descriptively-named maleus, incus and stapes, or hammer anvil and stirrup, is responsible for conducting soundwaves to the inner ear.
The Growing Need for Greater Attention to Hearing Conservation
Humans, and even animals, have always bean susceptible to deafness, in varying degrees. However, in recent years, there has been an unprecedented increase in the incidence of auditory impairment worldwide. The condition affects people of all ages, and can be attributed to a variety of causes. For instance, from around the late thirties, the mere act of aging will, in many cases, tend to be accompanied by a slow deterioration in auditory acuity – a condition known as presbycusis.