COLUMBIA - Eric Pherigo of The Textbook Game is used to noise outside his business. "Customers are always happy to get inside our store, so they can get away from all the construction noise," Pherigo said. The store is between two large construction sites: Brookside Townhomes at the corner of 10th and Hitt streets and The Lofts at 308 Ninth on Ninth Street in downtown Columbia. "We get lots of complaints from customers about the noise when they walk in," Pherigo said.
The banging, pounding and hammering is annoying and can cause headaches, but it's also dangerous to your health. A 2011 report by the World Health Organization and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre found the effects of noise can range from cardiovascular disease to cognitive impairment.
The study found that when sleep is interrupted by noise, it raises levels of stress hormones in the body and, in turn, increases strain on the heart.
Noise from construction can cause the same stress-inducing effects and impact productivity.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 17 percent of American adults report some degree of hearing loss. It estimates that 15 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds or noise at work.
A simple and inexpensive way to protect yourself against the noise is to listen to soothing music. Experts from the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation recommend removing the headphones or earbuds in the few seconds of silence between songs. This is because damage to the ears comes through intensity of sound and the length of time you spend listening to it. Keep the volume at a level where you can enjoy the music but still hear a person talking from three feet away.