It’s very common for people to have loss of hearing brought on by continued subjection to loud noise. If you are always around noise that that is over 85 decibels, your hearing might be irreversibly damaged.
What is Noise-Related Hearing Loss?
There are tiny hair cells in your inner ear which can be permanently damaged by loud noise. This is called sensorineural hearing loss.
A progressive 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 occur if you are subjected to a burst of extremely damaging noise all at once.
Recreational and work activities account for 17% of hearing loss in people between 20 and 69. Some examples of noises that can cause hearing loss might include:
- Loud volume on earphones
- Nearby fireworks
- Jet engines
- Busy Traffic
- Emergency Vehicles
Is it Reversible?
There is currently no cure for noise-related hearing loss (although scientists are hard at work on it). If you have been exposed to a loud noise, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible, because some of the prolonged damage is due to swelling in the ear. If you could decrease the inflammation you may be capable of reducing some lasting damage. Waves of sound are sent to the brain by the little hair cells inside of the ear. They never regenerate once they are destroyed. So once they’re gone, permanent hearing loss is the result. Safeguarding your ears, then, should be top priority, and seeing a specialist if you are currently having hearing problems.
Addressing The Issue With Research
This condition is presently incurable. But repairing noise-related hearing loss is top priority for scientists. There are clinical trials, for example, that are attempting to restore these hairs with a trial drug. Age-induced hearing loss and loud noise can damage these hairs, but regrowth would help repair hearing if scientists are capable of getting the drug to work.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Safeguarded
While hearing loss that is a result of noise can’t be restored (yet), you are able to take specific steps to prevent hearing loss or protect the remaining hearing that you have. Some steps you can take include:
- Use the proper hearing protection devices, like earplugs or earmuffs if you work in locations with consistently loud noises
- Treat any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
- Reduce your exposure to extremely noisy activities at home
- Get tested regularly
- If there are areas that always have loud noise – stay away from them
Lowering the volume on your devices, using 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.