Invisible assailants come in many forms, and they can have varying effects on your health. Many people gravitate toward the idea that these assailants come in the form of viruses, but viruses aren’t always the cause. Stress, indoor air pollutants, and noise pollution can all have harsh effects on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
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Everyone has experienced stress at one time in life. The stress may present as familial discord, difficult employment situations, a health scare, or any number of other occurrences. Everyone deals with stress differently, but the impacts from those stressors are still substantial. Stress can harm your body and your brain, especially if the stressors are prolonged events. The body reacts to stress in different ways, some of which can include appetite changes, sleeping pattern disruptions, or headaches and fatigue. The brain, however, can become “rewired,” leaving you with a severe form of anxiety and depression known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD isn’t reserved for combat veterans and first responders only. Anyone who has experienced a severely traumatic event can be diagnosed with PTSD. You must present the proper symptoms, but even events such as car accidents and losing a loved one can cause the trauma that is necessary for a PTSD diagnosis.
Indoor Air Pollutants
When you think of air pollutants, you probably think of smog. People are often under the impression that air pollutants stop once you are in your home.
Some pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are found to emanate from homes and buildings themselves. Articles such as household chemicals and paint release VOCs into the air of your home. VOCs cause eye irritation, respiratory issues, and, in some cases, full-blown illnesses. To help combat these indoor air pollutants, you should regularly change the air filters in your HVAC system as well as limit VOC-emitting substances used in your home.
How can sound be a pollutant? Noise is defined as unwanted sound, and to be considered a pollutant, the sound must harm you in some way. Aside from hearing impairment, it is important to note that noise pollution has other effects as well. Negative social behavior is more than simply a response to noise pollution; noise pollution is also detrimental to your mental well-being. If you can’t enjoy yourself while you’re outside, or while inside your home, your mental well-being can be set back exponentially.
As we described above, invisible assailants are all around us. Some of these assailants are easy to determine, such as stress, while others are much harder to pinpoint. Understanding where these assailants originate is the first step to treating the issues they are causing. Note that some of the examples above can and do have long-lasting implications on your health. Stress can cause severe emotional disturbances while noise pollution can cause permanent hearing loss. Limiting your exposure to each one of the above scenarios could help you if you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms described above.