It’s very common for people to have loss of hearing brought on by repeated 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-Related Hearing Loss Work?
There are tiny hair cells in your inner ear which can be irreversibly damaged by loud noise. This is known as sensorineural hearing loss.
A gradual deterioration of hearing, eventually leading to permanent hearing loss, occurs when you are subjected to very loud noise for a long period of time. It can also be caused by a single instance of a loud burst of sound that can immediately result in loss of hearing.
Work and recreational activities account for 17% of hearing loss in people between 20 and 69. Here are a few examples of noises that can cause hearing loss:
- Busy Traffic
- Nearby fireworks
- Jet engines
- Emergency Vehicles
- Loud volume on earphones
Can it be Reversed?
Even though scientists are making advancements, presently, there is no cure for noise induced hearing loss. Some of the damage in your ear might be caused by swelling so you need to consult a doctor if you have been subjected to sudden loud noise. If you could minimize the swelling you may be able to reduce some permanent damage. The hair cells in your inner ear are responsible for sending waves of sound to your brain. If noise harms or destroys them, they won’t regenerate. So once they’re gone, permanent hearing loss is the consequence. This is the reason why it is essential that you take the appropriate steps to protect your hearing, and if you are exposed to a loud noise, that you consult a specialist right away.
Research to Tackle The Issue
This condition is currently incurable. But restoring noise-induced hearing loss is top priority for researchers. For example, some research is in clinical trials presently that are evaluating whether a drug can restore the growth of these little hairs in the ear. If scientists were able to get this drug to work, these hairs would be able to restore and we might be able to address noise and age induced hearing loss.
Protect Your Remaining Hearing
Noise induced hearing loss can’t be healed but if you take specific steps to safeguard your ears, the hearing you have left can be protected into the future. Some steps you can take include:
- Stay away from areas that continuously have loud noises
- Use the appropriate hearing protection devices, such as earplugs or earmuffs if you work in places with persistently loud noises
- When you’re at home, limit your exposure to overly loud activities
- Whatever your hearing loss may be, hearing aids could be the solution
- Get tested regularly
Keeping the volume down on your devices, using ear protection, and avoiding overly loud noise is the best way to safeguard your hearing. But if you are exposed, make an appointment for a hearing test.