Noise-induced hearing loss is exceptionally common. If you are always around noise that that is over 85 decibels, your hearing may be permanently impaired.
Exactly How Does Noise-Related Hearing Loss Work?
There are tiny hair cells inside your inner ear which can be irreversibly damaged by loud noise. This is known as sensorineural hearing loss.
Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by long-term subjection to very high levels of noise, which leads to a gradual degeneration of your hearing. Immediate damage can also occur if you are subjected to a burst of exceptionally damaging noise all of a sudden.
More than 17 percent of individuals between the ages of 20 and 69 have hearing loss that is caused by their work or recreational activities. Here are a few examples of noises that can lead to hearing loss:
- Jet engines
- Construction equipment
- Busy Traffic
- Nearby fireworks
- Emergency Vehicles
- Loud headphoness
Can it be Reversed?
There is presently no cure for noise-related hearing loss (though scientists are working on it). If you have been exposed to a loud noise, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible, because some of the prolonged damage is due to inflammation in the ear. If you could reduce the swelling you might be able to reduce some permanent damage. Waves of sound are sent to the brain by the little hair cells inside of the ear. If noise damages or destroys them, they are unable to regenerate. Meaning that your hearing ability will be permanently impacted. This is the reason why it is important that you take the necessary steps to protect your hearing, and if you are exposed to a loud noise, that you consult a specialist right away.
Research to Manage The Issue
This condition is currently incurable. However, scientists are looking for ways to repair noise-induced hearing loss. For example, some research is in clinical trials right now that are testing whether a drug can restore the growth of these little hairs in the ear. Age-induced hearing loss and loud noise can damage these hairs, but regrowth would help repair hearing if researchers are capable of getting the drug to work.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Safeguarded
While hearing loss that is caused by noise cannot be repaired (yet), you are capable of taking specific measures to avoid hearing loss or save the remaining hearing that you have. You can:
- Stay away from places that constantly have loud noises
- Get routine hearing tests
- When you’re at home, minimize your exposure to excessively loud activities
- Whatever your hearing loss may be, hearing aids could be the solution
- Use the appropriate hearing protection devices, like earplugs or earmuffs if you work in locations with persistently loud noises
Keeping the volume down on your devices, wearing ear protection, and avoiding overly loud noise is the best way to safeguard your hearing. Make an appointment for a hearing exam if you have been exposed to loud noise.