Noise-induced hearing loss is extremely common. If you are continuously exposed to noise that that is over 85 decibels, your hearing might be permanently impaired.
Exactly How Does Noise-Related Hearing Loss Work?
There are little 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, develops when you are exposed to very loud noise for a long period of time. Immediate damage can also occur if you are exposed to a burst of extremely damaging noise all of a sudden.
Work and recreational activities account for 17% of hearing loss in individuals between the ages of 20 and 69. Some illustrations of noises that can result in hearing loss might include:
- Jet engines
- Emergency Vehicles
- Busy Traffic
- Nearby fireworks
- Loud headphoness
Is it Reversible?
There is presently no cure for noise-related hearing loss (though scientists are hard at work on it). Some of the damage in your ear might be the result of inflammation so you should consult a doctor if you’ve been exposed to sudden loud noise. You might be able to limit the damage that develops by reducing swelling. The hair cells inside of your inner ear are in control of transmitting sound waves to your brain. They never regenerate once they are destroyed. So once they are gone, irreversible hearing impairment is the result. This is the reason why it is essential that you take the required steps to protect your hearing, and if you’re exposed to a loud noise, that you consult a specialist as soon as possible.
Research to Manage The Issue
This condition is presently not curable. However, researchers are looking for ways to repair noise-related hearing loss. For example, some studies are in clinical trials presently that are testing whether a drug can repair the growth of these tiny 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
While hearing loss that is caused by noise can’t be repaired (yet), you are able to take specific measures to avoid hearing loss or protect the remaining hearing that you have. Some things you can do include:
- Stay away from places that regularly have loud noises
- Undergo regular hearing exams
- Use the proper hearing protection devices, such as earmuffs or earplugs if you work in places with persistently loud noises
- Minimize your exposure to extremely noisy activities at home
- Manage any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
Keeping the volume down on your devices, wearing ear protection, and staying away from overly loud noise is the best way to protect your hearing. Schedule a hearing test if you have been exposed to loud noise.