Noise-related hearing loss is exceptionally common. If you are constantly exposed to noise that that is over 85 decibels, your hearing might be irreversibly impaired.
Exactly How Does Noise-Related Hearing Loss Work?
This is a form of sensorineural hearing loss where hair cells in your inner ear are permanently destroyed by noise.
Noise-related hearing loss can be brought on by long-term exposure to very high levels of noise, which causes a gradual degeneration of your hearing. Instant damage can also happen if you are exposed to a burst of exceptionally damaging noise all of a sudden.
Recreational and work activities are responsible for 17% of hearing loss in people between 20 and 69. Here are a few examples of noises that can lead to hearing loss:
- Construction equipment
- Jet engines
- Nearby fireworks
- Loud volume on earphones
- Busy Traffic
Is it Reversible?
There is currently no cure for noise-induced hearing loss (though scientists are working on it). Some of the damage inside your ear might be the result of swelling so you should consult a doctor if you have been exposed to sudden loud noise. If you could minimize the inflammation you may be able to reduce some long term damage. The hair cells in your inner ear are responsible for sending waves of sound to your brain. If noise damages or kills them, they are unable to regenerate. Meaning that your hearing ability will be permanently affected. Safeguarding your ears, then, should be a priority, and consulting a specialist if you are currently having hearing issues.
Research to Manage The Issue
This condition is presently incurable. But restoring noise-induced hearing loss is top priority for scientists. For example, some research is in clinical trials right now that are testing whether a drug can restore the growth of the tiny hairs in the ear. If scientists were capable of getting this drug to work, these hairs would be able to regenerate and we might be able to address noise and age related hearing loss.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Protected
While hearing loss that is a result of noise can’t be restored (yet), you are capable of taking certain measures to reduce hearing loss or protect the remaining hearing that you have. You can:
- Manage any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
- When you’re at home, limit your exposure to overly loud activities
- If you work in an occupation that has persistently loud noise, use the recommended hearing protection
- Keep away from areas that regularly have loud noises
- Get tested routinely
Actually, it’s best to avoid exposure to loud noise by wearing hearing protection and keeping the volume down on all your devices. Make an appointment for a hearing exam if you have been exposed to loud noise.