It’s very common for people to have loss of hearing caused by continued subjection to loud noise. If you are constantly around noise that that is over 85 decibels, your hearing could be permanently damaged.
What is Noise-Related Hearing Loss?
There are little hair cells in your inner ear which can be irreversibly damaged by loud noise. This is called sensorineural hearing loss.
Noise-related hearing loss can be caused by long-term subjection to very high levels of noise, which causes a gradual deterioration of your hearing. Immediate damage can also happen if you are exposed to a burst of extremely damaging noise all of a sudden.
More than 17 percent of people between 20 to 69 have hearing loss that is caused by their recreational or work activities. Here are a few examples of noises that can cause hearing loss:
- Busy Traffic
- Emergency Vehicles
- Jet engines
- Construction equipment
- Nearby fireworks
- 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 may be due to swelling so you need to talk to a doctor if you’ve been exposed to sudden loud noise. If you could minimize the inflammation you may be capable of reducing some long term damage. The hair cells in your inner ear are in control of sending sound waves to your brain. If noise damages or kills them, they won’t regenerate. So once they are gone, irreversible hearing impairment is the consequence. This is the reason why it is critical that you take the appropriate steps to protect your hearing, and if you are exposed to a loud noise, that you consult a specialist as soon as possible.
Addressing The Problem With Research
This condition is currently incurable. But restoring noise-related hearing loss is top priority for scientists. For example, some studies are in clinical trials presently that are evaluating whether a drug can repair the growth of these little hairs in the ear. Age-induced hearing loss and loud noise can damage these hairs, but restoration would help restore hearing if scientists are capable of getting the drug to work.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Protected
While hearing loss that is a result of noise can’t 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 there are places that regularly have loud noise – stay away from them
- Reduce your exposure to extremely noisy activities at home
- Treat any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
- Use the appropriate hearing protection devices, like earplugs or earmuffs if you work in locations with persistently loud noises
- Get tested regularly
Keeping the volume down on your devices, wearing ear protection, and staying away from overly loud noise is the best way to protect your hearing. But if you are exposed, make an appointment for a hearing test.