It’s very common for people to have hearing loss caused by continued exposure to loud noise. Your hearing can be permanently impaired if you spend a lot of time exposed to noise that is higher than 85 dB.
What is Noise-Related Hearing Loss?
This is a kind of sensorineural hearing loss where hair cells in your inner ear are irreversibly destroyed by noise.
A gradual degeneration of hearing, eventually bringing about permanent hearing loss, develops when you are exposed to very loud noise over a long period of time. Instant damage can also occur if you are exposed to a burst of exceptionally damaging noise all of a sudden.
Over 17 percent of people between 20 to 69 have hearing loss that is a result of their work or recreational activities. Here are a few examples of noises that can cause hearing loss:
- Nearby fireworks
- Busy Traffic
- Jet engines
- Construction equipment
- Emergency Vehicles
- Loud volume on earphones
Can it be Reversed?
There is presently no cure for noise-induced hearing loss (although scientists are hard at work on it). If you have been subjected to a loud noise, you should see a doctor as soon as possible, because some of the lasting damage is due to swelling in the ear. You may be capable of limiting the damage that occurs by reducing inflammation. Waves of sound are transmitted to the brain by the little hair cells inside of the ear. If noise damages or destroys them, they won’t regenerate. This means that your hearing ability will be permanently impacted. Protecting your ears, then, should be a priority, and consulting a specialist if you are presently having hearing issues.
Approaching The Issue With Research
There is currently no solution for this condition. But restoring noise-induced hearing loss is top priority for researchers. For example, some studies are in clinical trials right now that are testing whether a drug can restore the growth of these tiny hairs in the ear. Age-induced hearing loss and loud noise can harm these hairs, but regrowth would help repair hearing if researchers are able to get the drug to work.
Safeguard Your Remaining Hearing
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 protected into the future. You can:
- Minimize your exposure to exceedingly noisy activities at home
- Use the appropriate hearing protection devices, like earmuffs or earplugs if you work in locations with persistently loud noises
- Keep away from areas that regularly have loud noises
- Whatever your hearing loss may be, hearing aids could be the solution
- Get tested regularly
Really, it’s best to avoid exposure to loud noise by wearing hearing protection and lowering the volume on all your devices. But if you are exposed, make an appointment for a hearing test.