It’s extremely common for people to have hearing loss caused by continued exposure to loud noise. Your hearing can be permanently damaged if you spend a lot of time around noise that is higher than 85 dB.
Exactly How Does Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Work?
This is a type of sensorineural hearing loss where hair cells in your inner ear are permanently damaged by noise.
Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by long-term subjection to extremely high levels of noise, which causes a gradual decline of your hearing. Instant damage can also happen if you are exposed to a burst of exceptionally damaging noise all of a sudden.
Over 17 percent of people between 20 to 69 have hearing loss that is caused by their recreational or work activities. Some examples of noises that can result in hearing loss may include:
- Nearby fireworks
- Emergency Vehicles
- Loud headphoness
- Busy Traffic
- Construction equipment
- Jet engines
Is it Reversible?
There is currently no remedy for noise-related hearing loss (though scientists are hard at work 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 long-term damage is due to inflammation in the ear. You may be capable of limiting the damage that develops by decreasing swelling. The hair cells inside of your inner ear are responsible for sending sound waves to your brain. If noise damages or kills them, they won’t regenerate. This means that your hearing ability will be permanently impacted. Protecting your ears, then, should be top priority, and consulting a specialist if you are presently having hearing issues.
Research to Manage The Issue
This condition is currently not curable. However, scientists are looking for ways to repair noise-induced hearing loss. For instance, some research is in clinical trials presently that are evaluating whether a drug can repair the growth of the tiny hairs in the ear. If scientists were able to get this drug to work, these hairs would be able to regenerate and we might be able to address noise and age induced hearing loss.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Safeguarded
While hearing loss that is caused by noise cannot be restored (yet), you are capable of taking specific steps to prevent hearing loss or save the remaining hearing that you have. You can:
- When you’re at home, limit your exposure to overly loud pursuits
- Use the proper hearing protection devices, such as earplugs or earmuffs if you work in locations with persistently loud noises
- Take routine hearing exams
- Manage any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
- Keep away from areas that constantly have loud noises
Lowering the volume on your devices, wearing ear protection, and staying away from overly loud noise is the best way to protect your hearing. Make an appointment for a hearing test if you have been exposed to loud noise.