The Heart of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

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“That’s one thing I hate! All the noise, noise, noise, noise!” This excerpt from Theodor Geisel’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas portrays the distaste many people share for strident sounds. Noise, however, is something that a society is unable to control due to its population and continuous construction work in order to maintain a certain standard of living. When a society is accustomed to the loud sounds it produces on a daily basis, people often forget the effects of being exposed to this aspect of society over time. Analogously, the Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad exams a society that is so compelled with obtaining the wealth in an underdeveloped country that they forget what it means to behave civilly. Although the path to recovery in both instances in virtually nonexistent, strides can be taken to avoid both instances. The Heart of Darkness explores a system of industrialism in which men emerge greedy and decadent, in like manner, those who surround themselves with strident sounds on a daily basis may find themselves victims of noise induced hearing loss. The Russian harlequin in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness expresses a common habit amongst sailors to smoke when he exclaims to Marlow, “Smoke? Where’s a sailor that does not smoke?” (132), correspondingly, in today’s world it is common for daily surroundings to include loud, obnoxious sounds that can potentially damage ones hearing permanently. This type of hearing disability is frequently referred to as N.I.H.L (Noise-Induced Hearing Loss). “N.I.H.L can be caused by a one-time exposure to an intense ‘impulse’ sound such as an explosion, or by continuous exposure to loud sounds over an extended period of time, such as noise generated in a woodworking shop” (“Noise-Indu... ... middle of paper ... ...cis. "Otology & Neurotology." Noise-Induced Hearing Loss:. American Journal of Otology, Mar. 1986. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness; And, The Secret Sharer. New York: Signet Classic, 1997. Print. Dalrymple, Theodore. "Heart of Darkness." Theodore Dalrymple. New English Review, Oct. 2006. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. Geisel, Theodor S. "Sayings and Quotes about Silence, Noise, and Hearing." Noise Help., 2010. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. Harrison, Robert V. "Get Started." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 13 May 2008. Web. 18 Feb. 2014. McReynolds, Michael C. "Noise-induced hearing loss." Air medical journal 24.2 (2005): 73-78. NIH Pub. No. 13-4233. "Noise-Induced Hearing Loss." Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Oct. 2013. Web. 05 Feb. 2014
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