Noise-related hearing loss is extremely common. If you are continuously around noise that that is over 85 decibels, your hearing may be irreversibly impaired.
What is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
There are little hair cells inside your inner ear which can be irreversibly damaged by loud noise. This is called sensorineural hearing loss.
Noise-related hearing loss can be caused by long-term exposure to extremely high levels of noise, which leads to a gradual decline of your hearing. Immediate damage can also happen if you are subjected to a burst of extremely damaging noise all at once.
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 cause hearing loss might include:
- Loud headphoness
- Construction equipment
- Emergency Vehicles
- Busy Traffic
- Jet engines
- Nearby fireworks
Can it be Reversed?
Even though scientists are making progress, currently, there is no cure for noise induced hearing loss. Some of the damage inside your ear might be due to inflammation so you need to consult a doctor if you’ve been subjected to sudden loud noise. If you could minimize the inflammation you may be able to reduce some permanent damage. The hair cells in your inner ear are responsible for sending waves of sound to your brain. They never regenerate once they are destroyed. Meaning that your hearing ability will be permanently affected. This is the reason why it is crucial that you take the necessary steps to protect your hearing, and if you’re exposed to a loud noise, that you consult a specialist right away.
Approaching The Issue With Research
This condition is currently not curable. But repairing noise-induced hearing loss is top priority for researchers. For example, some research is in clinical trials presently that are evaluating whether a drug can repair 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 may be able to overcome 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 reduce hearing loss or protect the remaining hearing that you have. You can:
- Treat any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
- If there are places that regularly have loud noise – stay away from them
- Get tested regularly
- When you’re at home, limit your exposure to excessively loud pursuits
- If you work in an occupation that has consistently loud noise, use the recommended hearing protection
Actually, it’s best to eliminate 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.