Stress on the roads

Stress on the roads

Blaring horns, unimaginable words being hurled at each other and excessive fumes — sadly enough, this reminds most commuters of a normal day on the Capital’s roads.

Constant exposure to loud noise on the road can cause high levels of stress. Bumper-to-bumper traffic and jams lead to constant frustration as well as increased noise levels.

H K Susheen Dutt, an ENT surgeon from Fortis Hospital, opines, “The noise severely affects one’s moods. On the roads, 85 to 100 decibels are produced — this is much beyond the noise levels that a normal human can comprehend and thus, it’s bound to affect hearing and speech.”

He adds, “Continuous exposure to such loud sounds can even lead to permanent ear damage. Loud sounds also contribute to irritability, thus leading to further tensions and road rage.”

The scary thing is that this sort of tension can lead to heart problems. “A few years back, when a young guy on a motorbike got into a fight on the road and then suffered a heart attack,” says Dr Sanjay Mehrotra, a senior consultant cardiologist.

There are other risks — sudden and non-constant changes of blood-pressure can lead to a stroke as well and any sudden mood changes can cause sudden changes to blood pressure levels too.

So what do citizens who endure the traffic daily have to say? Aishwarya Kannan, operations manager at a firm, says, “Traffic can be so irritating. I just can’t understand the intent behind the constant honking. I have migraine issues and on a Monday, while I’m planning the week ahead, the chaos on the road just messes my plans up.”

Aishwarya adds, “This honking and yelling goes on even till 11 pm or 12 am. We have conference rooms at work but the noise seeps in there too.”

For others, the traffic is a menace but they have adjusted to it. Sreeja S, manager at a telecom company, says, “I protect myself from the unpleasant noise of traffic by covering up with a shawl, helmet and earphones.

Traffic makes me mad — especially when one’s just waiting for the signal to turn green and people rush ahead of you, or when people abuse you on the road. But I don’t let it ruin my day.” Sreeja sighs and adds, “I’ve probably become attuned to this and don’t let it go to my head.”

Megan Fernandes, a communications professional, agrees: “Even though I believe that I can bear with travelling in the City, I must admit that I am left harrowed many times. I wouldn’t say it affects my health as such, but the frequent honking and rash driving in addition to traffic snarls do leave me feeling rather irritable.”

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