It’s extremely common for people to have loss of hearing caused by repeated subjection to loud noise. Your hearing can be irreversibly damaged if you spend a lot of time around noise that exceeds 85 dB.
Exactly How Does Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Work?
There are tiny hair cells in your inner ear which can be irreversibly harmed by loud noise. This is called sensorineural hearing loss.
Noise-related hearing loss can be caused by long-term subjection to extremely high levels of noise, which causes a gradual deterioration of your hearing. Immediate damage can also happen if you are subjected to a burst of exceptionally damaging noise all at once.
More than 17 percent of individuals between 20 to 69 have hearing loss that is a result of their work or recreational activities. Some examples of noises that can cause hearing loss may include:
- Loud headphoness
- Jet engines
- Nearby fireworks
- Busy Traffic
Can it be Reversed?
There is currently no remedy for noise-related hearing loss (though scientists are hard at work on it). If you have been subjected to a loud noise, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible, because some of the long-term damage is due to inflammation in the ear. You may be able to limit the damage that develops by decreasing inflammation. The hair cells in your inner ear are in control of transmitting sound waves to your brain. They never regenerate once they are ruined. Meaning that your ability to hear will be permanently affected. Protecting your ears, then, should be top priority, and seeing a specialist if you’re currently having hearing issues.
Research to Manage The Issue
There is currently no cure for this condition. But repairing noise-induced hearing loss is top priority for scientists. For instance, some studies are in clinical trials right now that are testing whether a drug can restore the growth of the little hairs in the ear. If scientists were able to get this drug to work, these hairs would be able to restore and we may be able to overcome noise and age induced hearing loss.
What Hearing Remains Needs to be Protected
While hearing loss that is caused by noise cannot be restored (yet), you are able to take certain measures to avoid hearing loss or save the remaining hearing that you have. You can:
- When you’re at home, minimize your exposure to excessively loud pursuits
- Stay away from areas that constantly have loud noises
- Use the proper hearing protection devices, like earplugs or earmuffs if you work in locations with consistently loud noises
- Get tested routinely
- Whatever your hearing loss might be, hearing aids could be the solution
Really, it’s best to avoid exposure to loud noise by using hearing protection and lowering the volume on all your devices. Schedule a hearing exam if you have been exposed to loud noise.