Noise-induced hearing loss is very common. Your hearing can be irreversibly damaged if you spend a lot of time exposed to noise that exceeds 85 dB.
Exactly How Does Noise-Related Hearing Loss Work?
There are tiny hair cells inside your inner ear which can be permanently damaged by loud noise. This is called sensorineural hearing loss.
Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by long-term subjection to extremely high levels of noise, which leads to a gradual deterioration of your hearing. Instant damage can also occur if you are subjected to a burst of extremely damaging noise all of a sudden.
Work and recreational activities are responsible for 17% of hearing loss in individuals between the ages of 20 and 69. Here are some examples of noises that can cause hearing loss:
- Emergency Vehicles
- Nearby fireworks
- Construction equipment
- Loud headphoness
- Jet engines
- Busy Traffic
Can it be Reversed?
Although scientists are making progress, currently, there isn’t a cure for noise related hearing loss. If you’ve been subjected to a loud noise, you need to consult a doctor right away, because some of the long-term damage is caused by swelling in the ear. You may be capable of limiting the damage that develops by decreasing swelling. The hair cells in your inner ear are responsible for transmitting sound waves to your brain. If noise damages or destroys them, they are unable to regenerate. So once they are gone, irreversible hearing impairment is the consequence. Protecting your ears, then, should be a priority, and consulting a specialist if you’re presently having hearing trouble.
Addressing The Issue With Research
There is currently no solution for this condition. However, researchers are searching for ways to restore noise-related hearing loss. For example, some studies are in clinical trials presently that are evaluating whether a drug can restore the growth of the tiny hairs in the ear. Age-related hearing loss and loud noise can harm these hairs, but regrowth would help repair hearing if scientists are capable of getting the drug to work.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Safeguarded
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 preserved into the future. Some steps you can take include:
- Get tested routinely
- If you work in an industry that has consistently loud noise, use the appropriate hearing protection
- Keep away from places that continuously have loud noises
- Whatever your hearing loss might be, hearing aids could be the answer
- When you’re at home, minimize your exposure to excessively loud pursuits
Keeping the volume down on your devices, wearing ear protection, and avoiding overly loud noise is the best way to protect your hearing. But if you are exposed, make an appointment for a hearing test.