It’s very common for people to have hearing loss caused by repeated exposure to loud noise. Your hearing can be permanently impaired if you spend a lot of time exposed to noise that is higher than 85 dB.
Exactly How Does Noise-Related Hearing Loss Work?
There are tiny hair cells in your inner ear which can be permanently harmed by loud noise. This is called sensorineural hearing loss.
A progressive degeneration 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 exceptionally damaging noise all of a sudden.
More than 17 percent of individuals between the ages of 20 and 69 have hearing loss that is caused by their recreational or work activities. Some examples of noises that can result in hearing loss may include:
- Loud headphoness
- Busy Traffic
- Jet engines
- Nearby fireworks
Can it be Reversed?
Even though scientists are making progress, presently, there isn’t a cure for noise induced hearing loss. If you’ve been subjected to a loud noise, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible, because some of the lasting damage is caused by inflammation in the ear. If you could minimize the inflammation you might be capable of reducing some long term damage. The hair cells in your inner ear are responsible for sending waves of sound to your brain. They never regenerate once they are ruined. So once they are gone, irreversible hearing impairment is the result. Protecting your ears, then, should be top priority, and seeing a specialist if you’re currently having hearing issues.
Research to Address The Issue
This condition is presently incurable. But restoring noise-related hearing loss is top priority for scientists. For instance, some research is in clinical trials presently that are testing whether a drug can repair the growth of these little hairs in the ear. Age-related hearing loss and loud noise can harm these hairs, but regrowth would help repair hearing if scientists are capable of getting the drug to work.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Protected
While hearing loss that is a result of noise cannot be repaired (yet), you are capable of taking certain steps to avoid hearing loss or protect the remaining hearing that you have. You can:
- Whatever your hearing loss may be, hearing aids could be the answer
- Reduce your exposure to extremely noisy activities at home
- Use the appropriate hearing protection devices, like earplugs or earmuffs if you work in locations with consistently loud noises
- Get tested routinely
- Stay away from places that regularly have loud noises
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.