Noise-induced hearing loss is extremely common. If you are always exposed to noise that that is over 85 decibels, your hearing might be permanently impaired.
What is Noise-Related Hearing Loss?
There are little hair cells in your inner ear which can be permanently damaged by loud noise. This is called sensorineural hearing loss.
Noise-related hearing loss can be brought on by long-term subjection to extremely high levels of noise, which leads to a gradual degeneration of your hearing. It can also be caused by a single event of a loud burst of sound that can immediately cause loss of hearing.
Work and recreational activities are responsible for 17% of hearing loss in people between the ages of 20 and 69. Some illustrations of noises that can result in hearing loss may include:
- Construction equipment
- Jet engines
- Busy Traffic
- Loud volume on earphones
- Nearby fireworks
Is it Reversible?
Even though scientists are making progress, currently, there isn’t a cure for noise induced hearing loss. Some of the damage inside your ear could be the result of swelling so you need to talk to a doctor if you’ve been exposed to sudden loud noise. If you could decrease the swelling you might be capable of reducing some long term damage. The hair cells inside of your inner ear are in control of sending waves of sound to your brain. They never regenerate once they are destroyed. So once they’re gone, irreversible hearing loss is the result. This is the reason why it is important that you take the required steps to safeguard your hearing, and if you’re exposed to a loud noise, that you consult a specialist right away.
Research to Manage The Issue
This condition is currently not curable. But restoring noise-induced hearing loss is top priority for researchers. For example, some studies are in clinical trials right now that are evaluating whether a drug can restore the growth of the little hairs in the ear. Age-related hearing loss and loud noise can damage these hairs, but regrowth would help restore hearing if scientists are able to get the drug to work.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Protected
While hearing loss that is a result of noise cannot be repaired (yet), you are able to take certain steps to avoid hearing loss or protect the remaining hearing that you have. Some things you can do include:
- When you’re at home, limit your exposure to excessively loud pursuits
- Whatever your hearing loss may be, hearing aids could be the solution
- Use the proper hearing protection devices, such as earmuffs or earplugs if you work in locations with persistently loud noises
- Stay away from areas that constantly have loud noises
- Get tested routinely
Actually, it’s best to avoid exposure to loud noise by wearing hearing protection and keeping the volume down on all your devices. But if you are exposed, make an appointment for a hearing test.