Noise-related hearing loss is exceptionally common. Your hearing can be permanently damaged if you spend a lot of time around noise that is over 85 dB.
Exactly How Does Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Work?
This is a type of sensorineural hearing loss where hair cells inside of your inner ear are irreversibly destroyed by noise.
Noise-related hearing loss can be caused by long-term subjection to very high levels of noise, which causes a gradual degeneration of your hearing. Immediate damage can also occur if you are exposed to a burst of extremely damaging noise all at once.
Over 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:
- Loud headphoness
- Jet engines
- Construction equipment
- Nearby fireworks
- Busy Traffic
- Emergency Vehicles
Can it be Reversed?
Even though scientists are making progress, presently, there isn’t a cure for noise related hearing loss. Some of the damage inside your ear could be caused by swelling so you need to talk to a doctor if you’ve been subjected to sudden loud noise. If you could decrease the inflammation you may be able to reduce some long term damage. Waves of sound are sent to the brain by the little hair cells in 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 seeing a specialist if you’re currently having hearing issues.
Addressing The Problem With Research
This condition is currently not curable. But repairing noise-induced hearing loss is top priority for scientists. There are clinical trials, for instance, that are trying to restore these hairs with an experimental drug. If scientists were capable of getting this drug to work, these hairs would be able to regenerate and we might be able to overcome noise and age induced hearing loss.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Safeguarded
While hearing loss that is a result of noise can’t be repaired (yet), you are capable of taking specific steps to avoid hearing loss or save the remaining hearing that you have. You can:
- If there are places that regularly have loud noise – stay away from them
- When you’re at home, minimize your exposure to overly loud pursuits
- Whatever your hearing loss might be, hearing aids could be the solution
- Get tested routinely
- If you work in an occupation that has consistently loud noise, use the appropriate hearing protection
Lowering the volume on your devices, using 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.