Noise-induced hearing loss is exceptionally common. If you are constantly exposed to noise that exceeds 85 decibels, your hearing might be permanently impaired.
What is Noise-Related Hearing Loss?
This is a kind of sensorineural hearing loss where hair cells inside of your inner ear are irreversibly destroyed by noise.
A gradual deterioration of hearing, eventually leading to permanent hearing loss, develops when you are exposed to very loud noise over a long period of time. Immediate damage can also happen if you are exposed to a burst of exceptionally damaging noise all of a sudden.
More than 17 percent of people between the ages of 20 and 69 have hearing loss that is a result of their recreational or work activities. Here are a few examples of noises that can result in hearing loss:
- Busy Traffic
- Loud volume on earphones
- Jet engines
- Nearby fireworks
- Emergency Vehicles
Can it be Reversed?
There is currently no remedy for noise-induced hearing loss (though scientists are working on it). Some of the damage inside your ear might be the result of inflammation so you should consult a doctor if you have been subjected to sudden loud noise. If you could minimize the swelling you may be capable of reducing some lasting damage. The hair cells inside of your inner ear are responsible for transmitting waves of sound to your brain. If noise damages or destroys them, they are unable to regenerate. So once they are gone, permanent hearing loss is the result. This is why it is important that you take the appropriate steps to protect your hearing, and if you’re exposed to a loud noise, that you speak with a specialist as soon as possible.
Research to Address The Issue
There is currently no solution for this condition. However, scientists are looking for ways to restore noise-induced hearing loss. There are clinical trials, for example, that are attempting to restore these hairs with a trial drug. Age-related 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 capable of taking specific steps to avoid hearing loss or protect the remaining hearing that you have. Some things you can do include:
- Limit your exposure to extremely noisy activities at home
- Whatever your hearing loss might be, hearing aids could be the solution
- If there are places that always have loud noise – stay away from them
- If you work in an industry that has persistently loud noise, use the appropriate hearing protection
- Get regular hearing exams
Really, it’s best to eliminate exposure to loud noise by using hearing protection and lowering the volume on all your devices. Make an appointment for a hearing test if you have been exposed to loud noise.