Know Your Noise

Day 13 on ‘Know Your Noise’ of “Silence & Sound”

from Remembering Series

{Listen to the audio]

Do you know your noise?

But first, what is noise to you?


It is considered as unpleasant sound or unwanted sound which is disruptive to hearing. In terms of communication, a noise is when it blocks sending or receiving message, either physical noise, psychological or semantic noise.

How each of us categorise noise is very subjective and personal, one might consider loud music like rock music as noise but it can also be a meditative music for some.

My noise

Like myself, I am very sensitive to loud noises either naturally made or man-made. With one thunder-strike, with one balloon burst, with one blender processing or one sudden scream could put me into shock mode instantly. Something about my uncomfortable fear I need to embrace. I would prefer not to be in a crowded area or in a confined space with many people chatting.

My noise would be crowded area with many chatters non-stop, car honks non-stop, people fighting in high tone and volume, never-ending ringing from the devices – phone, loud volume from devices – TV, huge explosion, long hours of loud music etc. What about your noise?

Noise Pollution

It is when a pro-long noise affects our well-being, humans and all living beings, it is what we named the noise pollution. The main noise pollution is from the traffic, air traffic and constructions. For those who live near the airport, besides the difficulty and the quality of sleep, researchers found a link between noise pollution and a heightened risk of a stroke. Especially on the effects on children’s well-being.

Know the safe sound levels & noise levels


The safe sound level is said to be below 70dB (decibel). In the range between 80dB to 89dB is the noise from the traffic and noisy restaurant where baby crying can be up to 110dB. While sports with crowd and rock concert is at 120dB to 120dB.

PS: Do your ears ring after a loud concert? 

Research shows that “ringing in the ears” may caused by overactive nerves.

Types of noises

External noise

Sources that are generated externally. It can be an atmospheric, extraterrestrial or natural-made like thunderstorms, lightning. It can be man-made from the constructions, traffics, conversations, or household appliances. In terms of communication, it can also be an external noise that disrupt the communication such as the loud fan.

Internal noise

What is inside the mind, also known as the internal dialogues, mental chatter or the non-stop radio. When it interferes externally from within, it is called internal interference, which our self-defence mode is turn on to protect self from perceived danger. Looking from the communication perspective, recurring illness or physical distractions like jet lag causes the inability to express are considered as the sources of internal noise. Including phobia or fear – public speaking, silence etc.

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Steve Job

What can we do with the external noise?

Remember, our ears need to rest and recover from the daily sound and noises.  Researchers found that our ears need an average of 16 hours of quiet to recover from one loud night out. If it is a situation within our control, we can lower the volume and allow rest time for the ear. If it is a noise which is not under our control, besides staying away from the noise, we can try these options..

White noise

White noise refers to sounds that mask other sounds that might occur naturally in an environment. In a city, white noise could help block out noises associated with traffic. Specific sounds might be used to help encourage sleep too. Some would recommend to play white noise for babies to aid sleep and block off household noises.

Noise cancelling headphones

For hearing protection and a peace of mind. It can be either active or passive types. It is said that any type of headphone can provide some passive noise reduction because of the materials of the headphones which block out some sound waves, especially those at higher frequencies.

Noise reduction earplugs

If you are living or staying near the busy street, try earplugs to sleep. It works for me whenever I stay in the city. With long use of it, be aware of the ear wax that might accumulate. Foam earplugs are considered to be the most effective type in noise reduction.

Sound proof foam tiles

Soundproof foam panels reduce the amplitude of sound waves by increasing the air resistance. With minimal budget, you can install the foam tiles on the wall or windows of your space to block out the noise external. Other sound proof methods like acoustic insulation, sound breaker bars, sound absorbing panels and soundproof boards are recommended too.

Give time for our ears to recover.

Our eyes may close during sleep, but the ears never sleep. Constantly receiving and transmitting signals to our brain and nervous system, thus, take note of what kind of environment or treatment are you giving to your ears. Let’s appreciate and massage our beautiful ears for all the sounds we hear.

True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes.

Edward Wood


Massaging my ears,


Published by Abbhya 阿比亚 Pan Vic Qi

One sharing and supporting unity consciousness

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