Noise-induced hearing loss is extremely common. If you are always exposed to noise that that is over 85 decibels, your hearing could be permanently damaged.
Exactly How Does Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Work?
There are tiny hair cells in your inner ear which can be permanently harmed by loud noise. This is known as sensorineural hearing loss.
A progressive degeneration of hearing, eventually leading to permanent hearing loss, develops when you are exposed to very loud noise for a long period of time. It can also be caused by a single instance of a loud burst of noise that can instantly result in loss of hearing.
Work and recreational activities are responsible for 17% of hearing loss in people between the ages of 20 and 69. Some examples of noises that can cause hearing loss may include:
- Jet engines
- Nearby fireworks
- Loud headphoness
- Emergency Vehicles
- Busy Traffic
Is it Reversible?
Even though scientists are making progress, currently, there is no cure for noise related hearing loss. If you’ve been exposed to a loud noise, you should consult a doctor right away, because some of the prolonged damage is caused by swelling in the ear. If you could decrease the inflammation you might be capable of reducing some permanent damage. The hair cells in your inner ear are responsible for transmitting waves of sound to your brain. If noise damages or destroys them, they won’t regenerate. Meaning that your hearing ability will be permanently affected. Protecting your ears, then, should be top priority, and consulting a specialist if you’re currently having hearing issues.
Approaching The Problem With Research
There is currently no cure for this condition. However, researchers are looking for ways to restore noise-induced hearing loss. There are clinical trials, for instance, that are attempting to regrow these hairs with an experimental drug. If scientists were able to get this drug to work, these hairs would be able to restore and we might be able to address noise and age induced hearing loss.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Safeguarded
While hearing loss that is caused by noise can’t be restored (yet), you are able to take specific steps to avoid 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
- Get tested regularly
- Treat any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
- Keep away from places that continuously have loud noises
- If you work in an industry that has persistently loud noise, use the recommended hearing protection
Keeping the volume down on your devices, wearing ear protection, and avoiding overly loud noise is the best way to safeguard your hearing. But if you are exposed, make an appointment for a hearing test.