Noise-induced hearing loss is very common. Your hearing can be irreversibly damaged if you spend a lot of time exposed to noise that is higher than 85 dB.
Exactly How Does Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Work?
There are little hair cells inside your inner ear which can be irreversibly harmed by loud noise. This is called sensorineural hearing loss.
A gradual degeneration of hearing, eventually bringing about permanent hearing loss, develops when you are exposed to very loud noise over a long period of time. It can also be caused by a single event of a loud burst of sound that can instantly result in hearing loss.
Over 17 percent of people between the ages of 20 and 69 have hearing loss that is a result of their work or recreational activities. Some illustrations of noises that can cause hearing loss may include:
- Jet engines
- Loud volume on earphones
- Busy Traffic
- Emergency Vehicles
- Construction equipment
- Nearby fireworks
Is it Reversible?
There is presently no remedy for noise-induced hearing loss (although scientists are working on it). Some of the damage inside your ear could be due to inflammation so you need to consult a doctor if you’ve been subjected to sudden loud noise. If you could reduce the inflammation you might be capable of reducing some long term damage. Waves of sound are sent to the brain by the little hair cells inside of the ear. If noise harms or kills them, they are unable to regenerate. So once they are gone, irreversible hearing impairment is the result. This is the reason why it is crucial that you take the appropriate steps to protect your hearing, and if you’re exposed to a loud noise, that you speak with a specialist as soon as possible.
Approaching The Problem With Research
There is currently no cure for this condition. However, scientists are looking for ways to restore noise-induced hearing loss. For example, some research is in clinical trials right now that are evaluating whether a drug can restore the growth of the little hairs in the ear. If scientists were capable of getting this drug to work, these hairs would be able to restore and we may be able to overcome noise and age induced hearing loss.
Safeguard Your Remaining Hearing
Noise induced hearing loss can’t be healed but if you take certain steps to protect your ears, the hearing you have left can be protected into the future. Some steps you can take include:
- If you work in an occupation that has consistently loud noise, use the correct hearing protection
- When you’re at home, minimize your exposure to excessively loud pursuits
- Whatever your hearing loss may be, hearing aids could be the answer
- If there are places that regularly have loud noise – stay away from them
- Undergo routine hearing exams
Keeping the volume down on your devices, wearing ear protection, and avoiding overly loud noise is the best way to protect your hearing. Make an appointment for a hearing exam if you have been exposed to loud noise.