Noise-induced hearing loss is very common. Your hearing can be irreversibly impaired if you spend a lot of time exposed to noise that is higher than 85 dB.
What is Noise-Related Hearing Loss?
This is a form of sensorineural hearing loss where hair cells in your inner ear are irreversibly damaged by noise.
A gradual degeneration of hearing, eventually leading to permanent hearing loss, develops when you are subjected to very loud noise for a long period of time. Instant damage can also occur if you are exposed to a burst of exceptionally damaging noise all at once.
Over 17 percent of individuals 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 cause hearing loss:
- Nearby fireworks
- Busy Traffic
- Loud volume on earphones
- Jet engines
- Emergency Vehicles
Can it be Reversed?
There is currently no remedy for noise-related hearing loss (though scientists are working on it). Some of the damage in your ear may be caused by inflammation so you should consult a doctor if you’ve been subjected to sudden loud noise. If you could reduce the inflammation you might be capable of reducing some lasting damage. Waves of sound are transmitted to the brain by the little hair cells inside of the ear. If noise harms or destroys them, they won’t regenerate. So once they’re gone, irreversible hearing loss is the result. Safeguarding your ears, then, should be top priority, and seeing a specialist if you are currently having hearing trouble.
Approaching The Issue With Research
This condition is presently not curable. However, researchers are searching for ways to restore noise-induced hearing loss. There are clinical trials, for example, that are trying to restore these hairs with a trial drug. 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
Noise induced hearing loss can’t be cured but if you take specific steps to safeguard your ears, the hearing you have left can be preserved into the future. You can:
- If you work in an industry that has consistently loud noise, use the appropriate hearing protection
- Undergo regular hearing exams
- Manage any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
- When you’re at home, limit your exposure to excessively loud activities
- If there are areas that regularly have loud noise – stay away from them
Actually, it’s best to avoid exposure to loud noise by wearing hearing protection and lowering the volume on all your devices. But if you are exposed, schedule a hearing test.