Are there Differences between Sound and Noise?

Noise is the unwanted sound we hear while sound is what we hear and there are differences between the two, which depends on the situation and the listener. Rock music for example may turn out to be a pleasurable sound to someone while it can annoy the other. Either way, it can be dangerous to the hearing in the event that the sound becomes too loud and if exposed too often and too long. Mind you, this happens not just in humans but even in fish too like a peacock eel. Strange and weird as it may seem but there are actually research that backs this up.

How Sound Waves are Generated?

Vibrating objects produce sound and this reaches the ears of the listener through the waves that travel in the air or any other media. When a particular object vibrated, it is creating slight change in the air pressure which changes as well through air. Ultimately, sound is produced.

To give you an example, envision yourself or someone using a drumstick to strike the drums.

The surface is vibrating back and forth and as it moves forward, it is pushing air in contact with its surface. As a result, a higher or positive pressure is created by means of compressing air. When it moves in opposite direction, then a lower or negative pressure is created by decompressing the air. Therefore, when the drum surface vibrates, it’s creating alternating regions of both lower and higher air pressure that travels through air as what we call sound waves.

This Sounds Troubling

Noise on the other hand is a common occupational health hazard or OSH. Particularly in manufacturing and heavy industrial environments along with other situations similar to bars, cafeterias or farms, noise can be a pose a real danger. Permanent hearing loss is one of the major concerns while interference, stress and annoyance with speech communications are the primary issues in schools, computer rooms and noisy offices.

To prevent this from happening, it is imperative to reduce noise down to acceptable levels. The best approach here is by using engineering modification to the source of noise itself or to workplace. In situations where technology can’t regulate the problem, personal hearing protection like plugs or ear muffs may be used.