Noise-induced hearing loss is exceptionally common. If you are always exposed to noise that exceeds 85 decibels, your hearing could be permanently damaged.
What is Noise-Related Hearing Loss?
There are tiny hair cells inside your inner ear which can be permanently damaged by loud noise. This is called sensorineural hearing loss.
A progressive deterioration of hearing, eventually bringing about permanent hearing loss, occurs when you are exposed to very loud noise over a long period of time. Immediate damage can also happen if you are subjected to a burst of extremely damaging noise all at once.
Recreational and work activities are responsible for 17% of hearing loss in individuals between 20 and 69. Here are some examples of noises that can result in hearing loss:
- Loud headphoness
- Jet engines
- Nearby fireworks
- Emergency Vehicles
- Busy Traffic
- Construction equipment
Can it be Reversed?
There is presently no cure for noise-related hearing loss (though scientists are hard at work on it). If you’ve been subjected to a loud noise, you need to see a doctor right away, because some of the long-term damage is caused by inflammation in the ear. If you could reduce the swelling you may be capable of reducing some lasting damage. The hair cells in your inner ear are in control of sending sound waves to your brain. They never regenerate once they are ruined. So once they’re gone, permanent hearing impairment is the consequence. This is why it is crucial 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 right away.
Addressing The Issue With Research
There is presently no solution for this condition. But repairing noise-related hearing loss is top priority for researchers. There are clinical trials, for instance, that are attempting to regrow these hairs with a trial drug. If scientists were able to get this drug to work, these hairs would be able to restore and we may be able to address noise and age related hearing loss.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Protected
While hearing loss that is a result of noise cannot be repaired (yet), you are capable of taking specific steps to avoid hearing loss or protect the remaining hearing that you have. You can:
- Get regular hearing tests
- Use the appropriate hearing protection devices, like earmuffs or earplugs if you work in places with persistently loud noises
- If there are places that always have loud noise – stay away from them
- Whatever your hearing loss might be, hearing aids could be the solution
- Reduce your exposure to very noisy activities at home
Lowering the volume on your devices, wearing ear protection, and staying away from overly loud noise is the best way to safeguard your hearing. But if you are exposed, make an appointment for a hearing test.