It’s extremely common for people to have hearing loss brought on by continued exposure to loud noise. Your hearing can be irreversibly damaged if you spend a lot of time around noise that is over 85 dB.
What is Noise-Related Hearing Loss?
There are little hair cells inside your inner ear which can be permanently harmed by loud noise. This is called sensorineural hearing loss.
A gradual degeneration of hearing, eventually bringing about permanent hearing loss, develops when you are exposed to very loud noise for a long period of time. Immediate damage can also happen if you are exposed to a burst of exceptionally damaging noise all at once.
Recreational and work activities account for 17% of hearing loss in people between 20 and 69. Here are a few examples of noises that can cause hearing loss:
- Nearby fireworks
- Busy Traffic
- Jet engines
- Loud volume on earphones
Is it Reversible?
Even though scientists are making advancements, currently, there isn’t a cure for noise related hearing loss. If you have been subjected to a loud noise, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible, because some of the long-term damage is caused by inflammation in the ear. If you could reduce the swelling you might be able to reduce 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. Meaning that your ability to hear will be permanently affected. Safeguarding your ears, then, should be top priority, and seeing a specialist if you are presently having hearing trouble.
Approaching The Problem With Research
This condition is currently not curable. But restoring noise-related hearing loss is top priority for scientists. For example, some studies are in clinical trials right now that are testing whether a drug can repair the growth of the tiny hairs in the ear. Age-induced hearing loss and loud noise can damage these hairs, but regrowth would help restore hearing if researchers are capable of getting the drug to work.
Protect Your Remaining Hearing
While hearing loss that is caused by noise cannot be repaired (yet), you are capable of taking specific measures to avoid hearing loss or protect the remaining hearing that you have. You can:
- Use the appropriate hearing protection devices, like earmuffs or earplugs if you work in locations with consistently loud noises
- Get tested routinely
- Limit your exposure to extremely noisy activities at home
- Stay away from places that continuously have loud noises
- Manage any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
Lowering the volume on your devices, using 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.