Noise-related hearing loss is extremely common. Your hearing can be irreversibly impaired if you spend a lot of time exposed to noise that exceeds 85 dB.
What is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
There are little hair cells in your inner ear which can be permanently damaged by loud noise. This is known as sensorineural hearing loss.
A gradual deterioration of hearing, eventually leading to permanent hearing loss, occurs when you are subjected to very loud noise for a long period of time. Instant damage can also happen if you are subjected to a burst of extremely damaging noise all at once.
More than 17 percent of individuals between the ages of 20 and 69 have hearing loss that is a result of their work or recreational activities. Some examples of noises that can result in hearing loss might include:
- Busy Traffic
- Nearby fireworks
- Construction equipment
- Loud headphoness
- Jet engines
Is it Reversible?
There is presently no cure for noise-related hearing loss (although scientists are working on it). Some of the damage in your ear could be caused by inflammation so you should see a doctor if you’ve been subjected to sudden loud noise. You may be capable of limiting the damage that occurs by reducing inflammation. The hair cells in your inner ear are responsible for transmitting sound waves to your brain. If noise harms or destroys them, they won’t regenerate. So once they are gone, permanent hearing impairment is the consequence. This is why it is crucial that you take the appropriate steps to safeguard your hearing, and if you’re exposed to a loud noise, that you see a specialist right away.
Addressing The Problem With Research
There is presently no cure for this condition. However, scientists are looking for ways to restore noise-related hearing loss. There are clinical trials, for example, that are trying to regrow these hairs with a trial drug. Age-induced hearing loss and loud noise can harm these hairs, but restoration would help restore hearing if researchers are capable of getting the drug to work.
Protect Your Remaining Hearing
While hearing loss that is a result of noise can’t be restored (yet), you are able to take certain steps to reduce hearing loss or save the remaining hearing that you have. You can:
- Get tested routinely
- If there are places that always have loud noise – avoid them
- Use the proper hearing protection devices, like earmuffs or earplugs if you work in locations with persistently loud noises
- When you’re at home, limit your exposure to excessively loud pursuits
- Manage any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
Actually, it’s best to eliminate exposure to loud noise by using hearing protection and lowering the volume on all your devices. But if you are exposed, make an appointment for a hearing test.