Noise pollution is real, and there's no doubt in my mind that it's getting worse. I live around a mile from Bellingham's International Airport, which has recently added more jet noise. I don't really mind it, and in some ways it's easier to deal with because of its regularity. Train tracks run by somewhere around the same distance away, and during the night I can hear the lonesome sound of a train passing by. If I lived closer to the tracks, I think it would bother me quite a bit, but many people who live nearby say after awhile you don't hear it any more.
When I visited my sister, I was quite taken aback when I attended her yoga class and found that the instructor (young, of course) played music at a fairly loud volume, with singing and a beat included. My massage therapist plays a very soothing, light music during my massage, but this was NOT in the same category at all. Noise pollution is so insidious that it seems most of us has learned to shut out the worst of it. I found this page about noise pollution, what it is and what it does to us. That link goes to the American Tinnitus Association. I don't have tinnitus, but I know lots of people who do: a persistent ringing or other sound in the ear that is the result of damaged hearing.
The event that has reminded me of how easy it is to get accustomed to regular sounds is that of our downstairs neighbors moving out. These are not really big apartments, less than a thousand feet of living space, and they are a young couple with two teenagers and a baby on the way. It wasn't big enough for them, but I was amazed at how loud they were, and how silent it is now. It's almost spooky.
Someone else will move in, and I'm hoping it will be a nice little old lady like me, maybe one who likes to feed the birds and likes it quiet, whose hearing is not so far gone that she needs to turn up the volume too awfully loud. The two of us use headphones when listening to TV alone, so that the other person doesn't feel the need to listen in. But we're rather unusual in this increasingly noisy world. I can always hope for a positive change. I'm feeling hopeful, and a little nervous about what the future holds.