Noise- Induced Hearing Loss: The Causes and Cures
Until recently, noise-induced hearing loss was linked mainly to excessive noise in the workplace. Some newer studies suggest that many teenagers and young adults have experienced permanent hearing loss caused by over-exposure to loud noise from a variety of everyday activities.
What is it?
Most people are around noises daily that can cause hearing loss and aren’t even aware of it. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the impact of excessive exposure to loud sounds. Depending on the amount of exposure, the damage could be temporary or permanent. However, repeated exposure to excessive noise for long periods of time can cause permanent damage.
If you listen to a loud noise for too long, it begins to damage the tiny nerve cells in your inner ear that are responsible for hearing.
What’s Considered Excessive Noise?
Sound is measured in units called decibels. Sounds of less than 75 decibels, are unlikely to cause hearing loss, even after extended periods of time. Normal conversation 3” away, an average office, and leaves rustling are examples of everyday noise which is relatively harmless. Once sounds reach or exceed 85 decibels, long or repeated exposure can cause hearing loss.
Use hearing protection when engaging in activities like using a lawn mower or attending a live concert to ensure no damage occurs. Remember, the louder the sound, the shorter amount of time it takes for NIHL to happen.
How to Deal with NIHL
While there are no established clinical treatments to reverse NIHL currently, there are solutions available to help make life easier. Counseling, amplification, and other assisted listening devices are available to improve communication with others. How does it work? A hearing aid amplifies the sound vibrations entering the ear, to help the remaining hair cells detect the larger vibrations and convert them into signals that are sent to the brain. Combined with counselling, a hearing aid offers an opportunity to reconnect with your loved ones and
Most importantly, regularly have your hearing tested to ensure any loss can be treated sooner rather than later. Click, call, come in for a FREE hearing test today!