Noise-related hearing loss is very common. If you are always around noise that that is over 85 decibels, your hearing may be irreversibly damaged.
Exactly How Does Noise-Related Hearing Loss Work?
There are little hair cells in 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 exposure to extremely high levels of noise, which causes a gradual deterioration of your hearing. It can also be caused by a single instance of a loud burst of sound that can instantly result in loss of hearing.
Work and recreational activities are responsible for 17% of hearing loss in individuals between 20 and 69. Here are some examples of noises that can cause hearing loss:
- Construction equipment
- Busy Traffic
- Loud headphoness
- Jet engines
- Nearby fireworks
- Emergency Vehicles
Is it Reversible?
There is currently no remedy for noise-related hearing loss (though scientists are hard at work on it). Some of the damage inside your ear may be the result of inflammation so you need to see a doctor if you have been subjected to sudden loud noise. You might be able to limit the damage that develops by decreasing inflammation. Waves of sound are transmitted to the brain by the little hair cells in the ear. If noise harms or destroys them, they won’t regenerate. So once they are gone, permanent hearing impairment is the result. This is the reason why it is essential that you take the necessary steps to safeguard your hearing, and if you’re exposed to a loud noise, that you speak with a specialist as soon as possible.
Research to Address The Issue
This condition is presently not curable. But restoring noise-induced hearing loss is top priority for researchers. There are clinical trials, for instance, that are trying to restore these hairs with an experimental drug. If scientists were capable of getting this drug to work, these hairs would be able to restore and we might be able to overcome noise and age related hearing loss.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Safeguarded
While hearing loss that is caused by noise cannot be repaired (yet), you are able to take certain steps to reduce hearing loss or protect the remaining hearing that you have. Some things you can do include:
- Reduce your exposure to very noisy activities at home
- If you work in an occupation that has persistently loud noise, use the recommended hearing protection
- If there are places that regularly have loud noise – avoid them
- Treat any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
- Undergo routine hearing tests
Lowering the volume on your devices, using 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.