It’s very common for people to have loss of hearing brought on by continued subjection to loud noise. If you are always around noise that exceeds 85 decibels, your hearing could be irreversibly impaired.
Exactly How Does Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Work?
There are tiny hair cells inside your inner ear which can be permanently damaged by loud noise. This is known as sensorineural hearing loss.
Noise-related hearing loss can be caused by long-term exposure to extremely high levels of noise, which causes a gradual degeneration of your hearing. Instant damage can also occur if you are subjected to a burst of extremely damaging noise all at once.
Work and recreational activities are responsible for 17% of hearing loss in individuals between the ages of 20 and 69. Some illustrations of noises that can result in hearing loss may include:
- Loud headphoness
- Emergency Vehicles
- Jet engines
- Nearby fireworks
- Busy Traffic
Is it Reversible?
Although scientists are making progress, currently, there isn’t a cure for noise related hearing loss. If you’ve been exposed to a loud noise, you need to consult a doctor as soon as possible, because some of the lasting damage is caused by swelling in the ear. If you could decrease the inflammation you might be able to reduce some long term damage. Sound waves are transmitted to the brain by the little hair cells inside of the ear. If noise harms or kills them, they are unable to regenerate. This means that your ability to hear will be permanently affected. Protecting your ears, then, should be top priority, and consulting a specialist if you are currently having hearing issues.
Approaching The Issue With Research
There is currently no solution for this condition. However, scientists are looking for ways to restore noise-induced hearing loss. For instance, 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-related hearing loss and loud noise can damage these hairs, but restoration would help restore hearing if researchers are capable of getting the drug to work.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Protected
While hearing loss that is a result of noise cannot be repaired (yet), you are capable of taking specific measures to avoid hearing loss or save the remaining hearing that you have. You can:
- Stay away from places that constantly have 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 answer
- Get tested regularly
- Use the proper hearing protection devices, like earmuffs or earplugs if you work in locations with consistently loud noises
Really, it’s best to avoid exposure to loud noise by using hearing protection and lowering the volume on all your devices. But if you are exposed, schedule a hearing test.