Noise-induced hearing loss is extremely common. Your hearing can be irreversibly damaged if you spend a lot of time exposed to noise that is over 85 dB.
Exactly How Does Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Work?
There are little hair cells inside your inner ear which can be permanently 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 causes a gradual degeneration 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 individuals between the ages of 20 and 69 have hearing loss that is caused by their work or recreational activities. Some examples of noises that can cause hearing loss may include:
- Nearby fireworks
- Loud volume on earphones
- Jet engines
- Emergency Vehicles
- Busy Traffic
Can it be Reversed?
Even though scientists are making advancements, currently, there isn’t a cure for noise related hearing loss. Some of the damage inside your ear may be due to inflammation so you need to consult a doctor if you have been subjected to sudden loud noise. You might be able to limit the damage that occurs by decreasing inflammation. Sound waves are sent to the brain by the little hair cells inside of the ear. If noise harms or kills them, they won’t regenerate. So once they’re gone, permanent hearing impairment is the consequence. Protecting your ears, then, should be top priority, and consulting a specialist if you’re presently having hearing trouble.
Research to Manage The Issue
There is currently no solution for this condition. However, scientists are looking for ways to repair noise-induced hearing loss. For example, some research is in clinical trials presently that are testing whether a drug can restore the growth of these tiny 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 Protected
While hearing loss that is caused by noise cannot be repaired (yet), you are able to take specific measures to avoid hearing loss or save the remaining hearing that you have. Some steps you can take include:
- When you’re at home, limit your exposure to excessively loud activities
- Take routine hearing exams
- Use the proper hearing protection devices, like earplugs or earmuffs if you work in places with consistently loud noises
- Whatever your hearing loss may be, hearing aids could be the answer
- If there are areas that always have loud noise – avoid them
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, schedule a hearing test.