Noise-related hearing loss is exceptionally common. If you are continuously exposed to noise that exceeds 85 decibels, your hearing might be permanently impaired.
What is Noise-Related Hearing Loss?
This is a form of sensorineural hearing loss where hair cells in your inner ear are irreversibly destroyed by noise.
A progressive deterioration of hearing, eventually bringing about permanent hearing loss, develops when you are subjected to very loud noise over a long period of time. Immediate 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 individuals between the ages of 20 and 69. Here are some examples of noises that can result in hearing loss:
- Loud volume on earphones
- Jet engines
- Busy Traffic
- Nearby fireworks
- Emergency Vehicles
Is it Reversible?
Although scientists are making advancements, presently, there is no cure for noise related hearing loss. If you have been exposed to a loud noise, you need to consult a doctor right away, because some of the prolonged damage is due to inflammation in the ear. You might be able to limit the damage that develops by decreasing inflammation. The hair cells inside of your inner ear are in control of sending sound waves to your brain. They never regenerate once they are destroyed. So once they are gone, irreversible hearing impairment is the consequence. This is the reason why it is crucial that you take the necessary steps to safeguard your hearing, and if you’re exposed to a loud noise, that you see a specialist as soon as possible.
Addressing The Issue With Research
There is currently no solution for this condition. However, researchers are looking for ways to repair noise-induced hearing loss. For instance, some studies are in clinical trials right now that are testing whether a drug can restore the growth of these tiny hairs in the ear. Age-related hearing loss and loud noise can damage these hairs, but regrowth would help repair hearing if scientists are capable of getting the drug to work.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Protected
Noise induced hearing loss can’t be healed but if you take certain steps to safeguard your ears, the hearing you have left can be protected into the future. You can:
- Keep away from areas that regularly have loud noises
- Limit your exposure to very noisy activities at home
- Treat any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
- Use the appropriate hearing protection devices, like earplugs or earmuffs if you work in places with consistently loud noises
- Get tested routinely
Really, it’s best to avoid exposure to loud noise by using hearing protection and lowering the volume on all your devices. But if you are exposed, make an appointment for a hearing test.