Noise-related hearing loss is exceptionally common. Your hearing can be irreversibly impaired if you spend a lot of time exposed to noise that is higher than 85 dB.
Exactly How Does Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Work?
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 caused by long-term subjection to very high levels of noise, which leads to a gradual decline of your hearing. Instant damage can also happen if you are exposed to a burst of exceptionally damaging noise all of a sudden.
Work and recreational activities are responsible for 17% of hearing loss in people between 20 and 69. Here are some examples of noises that can cause hearing loss:
- Nearby fireworks
- Jet engines
- Loud volume on earphones
- Busy Traffic
- Emergency Vehicles
Can it be Reversed?
There is currently no cure for noise-induced hearing loss (although scientists are working on it). If you’ve been exposed to a loud noise, you should see a doctor right away, because some of the lasting damage is caused by swelling in the ear. If you could reduce the inflammation you might be capable of reducing some lasting damage. The hair cells in your inner ear are responsible for transmitting sound waves to your brain. They never regenerate once they are destroyed. This means that your hearing ability will be permanently impacted. This is the reason why it is critical that you take the required steps to safeguard your hearing, and if you are exposed to a loud noise, that you consult a specialist right away.
Addressing The Issue With Research
This condition is presently not curable. But restoring noise-related hearing loss is top priority for scientists. There are clinical trials, for instance, that are attempting to regrow these hairs with an experimental drug. Age-induced hearing loss and loud noise can damage these hairs, but restoration would help restore hearing if researchers 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 restored (yet), you are able to take certain steps to reduce hearing loss or save the remaining hearing that you have. You can:
- If there are areas that regularly have loud noise – avoid them
- Take regular hearing exams
- Manage any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
- Use the proper hearing protection devices, like earmuffs or earplugs if you work in places with consistently loud noises
- Reduce your exposure to extremely noisy activities at home
Lowering the volume on your devices, wearing ear protection, and staying away from overly loud noise is the best way to safeguard your hearing. But if you are exposed, schedule a hearing test.