Noise-induced hearing loss is very common. Your hearing can be irreversibly impaired if you spend a lot of time exposed to noise that is over 85 dB.
Exactly How Does Noise-Related Hearing Loss Work?
This is a kind of sensorineural hearing loss where hair cells inside of your inner ear are irreversibly destroyed by noise.
A gradual deterioration of hearing, eventually leading to permanent hearing loss, develops when you are exposed to very loud noise over a long period of time. It can also be caused by a single event of a loud burst of noise that can immediately cause loss of hearing.
More than 17 percent of individuals between 20 to 69 have hearing loss that is a result of their work or recreational activities. Here are some examples of noises that can cause hearing loss:
- Jet engines
- Emergency Vehicles
- Nearby fireworks
- Construction equipment
- Busy Traffic
- Loud headphoness
Can it be Reversed?
There is presently no remedy for noise-induced hearing loss (though scientists are working on it). Some of the damage in your ear might be due to inflammation so you need to consult a doctor if you have been subjected to sudden loud noise. If you could minimize the swelling you might be capable of reducing some long term damage. Sound waves are transmitted to the brain by the little hair cells inside of the ear. If noise damages or destroys them, they won’t regenerate. So once they are gone, irreversible hearing impairment is the consequence. Protecting your ears, then, should be top priority, and consulting a specialist if you’re presently having hearing problems.
Addressing The Problem With Research
There is presently no cure for this condition. However, researchers are searching for ways to repair noise-related hearing loss. For instance, some research is in clinical trials presently that are evaluating whether a drug can repair the growth of the tiny hairs in the ear. If scientists were capable of getting this drug to work, these hairs would be able to restore and we might be able to address noise and age induced hearing loss.
Protect Your Remaining Hearing
While hearing loss that is caused by noise cannot be restored (yet), you are capable of taking specific measures to prevent hearing loss or protect the remaining hearing that you have. You can:
- If you work in an occupation that has consistently loud noise, use the recommended hearing protection
- If there are places that always have loud noise – stay away from them
- When you’re at home, limit your exposure to excessively loud activities
- Get tested routinely
- Whatever your hearing loss might be, hearing aids could be the answer
Keeping the volume down on your devices, using ear protection, and staying away from overly loud noise is the best way to protect your hearing. But if you are exposed, schedule a hearing test.