10-year average exposure to road and railway noise increased the odds of dementia.
There was a general pattern of higher risk with higher noise exposure.
The study authors report that road and railway noise were linked with a 27% higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Only road noise, however, was tied with an increased risk of vascular dementia.
Minimizing traffic noise
If you live in an area with high noise pollution, thankfully there are a few ways to minimize traffic noise:
- Build a wall or fence: This is the most effective way to prevent loud noises from entering your backyard. If you live in an area with a lot of traffic (downtown or near a highway), try building a masonry wall, modular wall, or an acoustic fence. Those with minimal sounds can opt for a wooden fence instead.
- Vegetation: This is an option that will also bring life to your backyard. Hedges, shrubs, trees, and plants can all absorb and deflect any incoming sounds from traffic. They can also be paired with a wall or fence for maximum noise reduction. Plants such as broad-leaf evergreens and junipers have great noise-blocking qualities. When accompanied by the wind, plants can also create their own noise-blocking sounds. The only downside to this option is that plants may take a while to grow, which can delay the impact they will have on blocking noise.
- Create desirable sounds: If you are having trouble reducing the noise levels, try drowning them out with noises that are more appealing. For example, a water fountain can create a white noise that is soothing and peaceful. Music is also a great way to take your attention off of those loud traffic noises.
Creating sound barriers not only reduces traffic noise, it can also trick your mind into perceiving an atmosphere to be quieter.
Although this won’t completely diminish your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, it can certainly lessen the risk and if nothing else reduce those annoying traffic noises.