Noise-related hearing loss is exceptionally common. Your hearing can be irreversibly damaged if you spend a lot of time exposed to noise that exceeds 85 dB.
Exactly How Does Noise-Related Hearing Loss Work?
There are tiny hair cells inside your inner ear which can be permanently harmed by loud noise. This is called sensorineural hearing loss.
Noise-related hearing loss can be caused by long-term subjection to extremely high levels of noise, which causes a gradual deterioration of your hearing. It can also be caused by a single event of a loud burst of noise that can instantly cause hearing loss.
More than 17 percent of people 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:
- Jet engines
- Busy Traffic
- Emergency Vehicles
- Loud headphoness
- Nearby fireworks
Is it Reversible?
There is presently no remedy for noise-induced hearing loss (though scientists are hard at work on it). Some of the damage inside your ear could be due to inflammation so you need to see a doctor if you have been subjected to sudden loud noise. You might be able to limit the damage that occurs by decreasing swelling. Waves of sound are sent to the brain by the little hair cells inside of the ear. They never regenerate once they are destroyed. This means that your hearing ability will be permanently impacted. This is the reason why it is essential that you take the required 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 Tackle The Issue
This condition is presently not curable. However, researchers are looking for ways to restore noise-related hearing loss. For example, some studies are in clinical trials presently that are evaluating whether a drug can restore the growth of these tiny hairs in the ear. 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.
Safeguard Your Remaining Hearing
While hearing loss that is caused by noise cannot be restored (yet), you are able to take specific steps to prevent hearing loss or save the remaining hearing that you have. Some things you can do include:
- Get tested routinely
- If there are places that regularly have loud noise – stay away from them
- When you’re at home, limit your exposure to overly loud activities
- Whatever your hearing loss may be, hearing aids could be the answer
- Use the proper hearing protection devices, like earplugs or earmuffs if you work in places with consistently loud noises
Keeping the volume down on your devices, using ear protection, and avoiding overly loud noise is the best way to safeguard your hearing. But if you are exposed, schedule a hearing test.