Noise-related hearing loss is very common. If you are always around noise that that is over 85 decibels, your hearing could be irreversibly damaged.
What is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
There are tiny hair cells in your inner ear which can be irreversibly damaged by loud noise. This is called sensorineural hearing loss.
Noise-induced hearing loss can be brought on by long-term exposure to extremely high levels of noise, which causes a gradual degeneration of your hearing. It can also be caused by a single event of a loud burst of noise that can instantly cause hearing loss.
Recreational and work activities are responsible for 17% of hearing loss in individuals between 20 and 69. Here are a few examples of noises that can lead to hearing loss:
- Busy Traffic
- Nearby fireworks
- Jet engines
- Loud headphoness
- Construction equipment
Is it Reversible?
There is presently no remedy for noise-related hearing loss (although scientists are working on it). If you have been exposed to a loud noise, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible, because some of the long-term damage is caused by swelling in the ear. If you could minimize the inflammation you may be capable of reducing some long term damage. The hair cells in your inner ear are in control of transmitting sound waves to your brain. They never regenerate once they are destroyed. This means that your ability to hear will be permanently impacted. This is the reason why it is important that you take the necessary steps to safeguard your hearing, and if you are exposed to a loud noise, that you consult a specialist right away.
Approaching The Problem With Research
There is currently no solution for this condition. However, scientists are searching for ways to repair noise-induced hearing loss. There are clinical trials, for example, that are trying to regrow these hairs with an experimental drug. Age-induced hearing loss and loud noise can harm these hairs, but regrowth would help repair hearing if scientists are able to get the drug to work.
Protect Your Remaining Hearing
Noise related hearing loss can’t be healed but if you take specific steps to safeguard your ears, the hearing you have left can be protected into the future. Some things you can do include:
- Get tested regularly
- Use the appropriate hearing protection devices, such as earplugs or earmuffs if you work in locations with consistently loud noises
- Treat any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
- Stay away from areas that continuously have loud noises
- Reduce your exposure to exceedingly noisy activities at home
Keeping the volume down on your devices, using ear protection, and avoiding overly loud noise is the best way to protect your hearing. But if you are exposed, schedule a hearing test.