Noise-related hearing loss is exceptionally common. If you are always exposed to noise that that is over 85 decibels, your hearing could be permanently impaired.
What is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
This is a form of sensorineural hearing loss where hair cells inside of your inner ear are permanently destroyed by noise.
Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by long-term exposure to extremely high levels of noise, which leads to a gradual decline of your hearing. It can also be caused by a single event of a loud burst of noise that can instantly cause loss of hearing.
More than 17 percent of people between 20 to 69 have hearing loss that is caused by their recreational or work activities. Here are some examples of noises that can result in hearing loss:
- Nearby fireworks
- Jet engines
- Loud volume on earphones
- Busy Traffic
- Emergency Vehicles
Can it be Reversed?
Although scientists are making advancements, currently, there is no cure for noise related hearing loss. Some of the damage in your ear might be caused by inflammation so you need to talk to a doctor if you have been subjected to sudden loud noise. If you could reduce the inflammation you may be able to reduce some lasting damage. The hair cells inside of your inner ear are in control of sending sound waves to your brain. If noise damages or kills them, they are unable to regenerate. Meaning that your ability to hear will be permanently affected. This is why it is critical that you take the necessary steps to safeguard your hearing, and if you’re exposed to a loud noise, that you see a specialist as soon as possible.
Approaching The Issue With Research
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 evaluating 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 restore hearing if scientists are capable of getting the drug to work.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Safeguarded
While hearing loss that is a result of noise cannot be restored (yet), you are capable of taking specific measures to reduce hearing loss or save the remaining hearing that you have. You can:
- When you’re at home, minimize your exposure to excessively loud pursuits
- Get regular hearing tests
- Use the proper hearing protection devices, such as earplugs or earmuffs if you work in places with consistently loud noises
- Whatever your hearing loss may be, hearing aids could be the answer
- Keep away from areas that constantly have loud noises
Actually, it’s best to eliminate exposure to loud noise by wearing hearing protection and lowering the volume on all your devices. But if you are exposed, make an appointment for a hearing test.