Noise-related hearing loss is very common. Your hearing can be irreversibly impaired if you spend a lot of time around noise that exceeds 85 dB.
What is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
This is a form of sensorineural hearing loss where hair cells inside of your inner ear are permanently damaged by noise.
Noise-related hearing loss can be caused by long-term exposure to extremely high levels of noise, which causes a gradual decline of your hearing. It can also be caused by a single event of a loud burst of sound that can instantly result in loss of hearing.
Over 17 percent of individuals between 20 to 69 have hearing loss that is caused by their recreational or work activities. Some examples of noises that can cause hearing loss might include:
- Busy Traffic
- Nearby fireworks
- Emergency Vehicles
- Construction equipment
- Jet engines
- Loud headphoness
Can it be Reversed?
Even though scientists are making advancements, currently, there is no cure for noise induced hearing loss. If you have been exposed to a loud noise, you need to consult a doctor right away, because some of the prolonged damage is caused by inflammation in the ear. If you could reduce the swelling you may be capable of reducing some permanent damage. Waves of sound are transmitted to the brain by the little hair cells in the ear. If noise harms or destroys them, they won’t regenerate. Meaning that your hearing ability will be permanently impacted. This is why it is essential that you take the necessary steps to protect your hearing, and if you’re exposed to a loud noise, that you speak with a specialist as soon as possible.
Addressing The Problem With Research
This condition is presently not curable. But repairing noise-induced hearing loss is top priority for researchers. There are clinical trials, for example, that are attempting to regrow these hairs with an experimental drug. If scientists were able to get this drug to work, these hairs would be able to regenerate and we may be able to address noise and age related hearing loss.
Safeguard Your Remaining Hearing
Noise related hearing loss can’t be cured but if you take certain steps to protect your ears, the hearing you have left can be preserved into the future. You can:
- Reduce your exposure to very noisy activities at home
- Undergo routine hearing exams
- Use the proper hearing protection devices, such as earplugs or earmuffs if you work in places with persistently loud noises
- If there are places that always have loud noise – stay away from them
- Treat any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
Lowering the volume on your devices, using ear protection, and staying away from overly loud noise is the best way to protect your hearing. But if you are exposed, schedule a hearing test.