Noise-related hearing loss is exceptionally common. If you are always around noise that exceeds 85 decibels, your hearing may be irreversibly damaged.
Exactly How Does Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Work?
There are little hair cells in your inner ear which can be permanently harmed by loud noise. This is called sensorineural hearing loss.
Noise-related hearing loss can be brought on by long-term exposure to very high levels of noise, which causes a gradual decline of your hearing. Instant damage can also occur if you are subjected to a burst of exceptionally damaging noise all of a sudden.
Work and recreational activities account for 17% of hearing loss in individuals between 20 and 69. Some examples of noises that can result in hearing loss might include:
- Nearby fireworks
- Emergency Vehicles
- Construction equipment
- Loud headphoness
- Jet engines
- Busy Traffic
Is it Reversible?
There is presently no cure for noise-related hearing loss (although scientists are working on it). Some of the damage in your ear could be the result of swelling so you need to consult a doctor if you’ve been exposed to sudden loud noise. If you could reduce the inflammation you may be able to reduce some long term damage. The hair cells in your inner ear are in control of sending sound waves to your brain. If noise damages or kills them, they won’t regenerate. So once they’re gone, irreversible hearing impairment is the consequence. This is why it is critical that you take the necessary steps to protect your hearing, and if you’re exposed to a loud noise, that you consult a specialist right away.
Addressing The Issue With Research
This condition is presently not curable. But repairing noise-related hearing loss is top priority for researchers. For example, some studies are in clinical trials presently that are testing whether a drug can repair 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 capable of getting the drug to work.
Protect Your Remaining Hearing
Noise related hearing loss can’t be cured but if you take specific steps to safeguard your ears, the hearing you have left can be protected into the future. You can:
- Stay away from places that continuously have loud noises
- Use the proper hearing protection devices, such as earmuffs or earplugs if you work in locations with persistently loud noises
- Get regular hearing exams
- When you’re at home, limit your exposure to excessively loud pursuits
- Treat any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
Really, it’s best to avoid exposure to loud noise by using hearing protection and lowering the volume on all your devices. Schedule a hearing exam if you have been exposed to loud noise.