Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

“Loud

It’s very common for people to have hearing loss brought on by repeated subjection to loud noise. If you are continuously around noise that that is over 85 decibels, your hearing may be irreversibly impaired.

What is Noise-Related Hearing Loss?

This is a form of sensorineural hearing loss where hair cells in your inner ear are permanently destroyed by noise.

Noise-related hearing loss can be caused by long-term subjection to very high levels of noise, which causes a gradual deterioration of your hearing. It can also be caused by a single instance of a loud burst of sound that can immediately result in hearing loss.

Work and recreational activities account for 17% of hearing loss in people between 20 and 69. Here are some examples of noises that can result in hearing loss:

  • Jet engines
  • Motorcycles
  • Chainsaws
  • Sirens
  • Busy Traffic
  • Loud volume on earphones
  • Construction equipment
  • Nearby fireworks

Can it be Reversed?

Even though scientists are making progress, presently, there is no cure for noise related hearing loss. If you have been subjected to a loud noise, you need to consult a doctor right away, because some of the lasting damage is caused by inflammation in the ear. You may be capable of limiting the damage that occurs by decreasing swelling. Waves of sound are sent to the brain by the little hair cells in the ear. If noise harms or kills them, they won’t regenerate. So once they are gone, irreversible hearing impairment is the result. Protecting your ears, then, should be top priority, and seeing a specialist if you are presently having hearing problems.

Research to Address The Issue

There is presently no cure for this condition. But repairing noise-induced hearing loss is top priority for researchers. For instance, some studies are in clinical trials presently that are evaluating whether a drug can repair the growth of these tiny hairs in the ear. If scientists were capable of getting this drug to work, these hairs would be able to restore and we may be able to address noise and age induced hearing loss.

Safeguard Your Remaining Hearing

While hearing loss that is caused by noise can’t be repaired (yet), you are capable of taking specific measures to reduce hearing loss or protect the remaining hearing that you have. Some things you can do include:

  • Use the appropriate hearing protection devices, such as earmuffs or earplugs if you work in locations with consistently loud noises
  • Manage any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
  • Minimize your exposure to very noisy activities at home
  • Undergo regular hearing exams
  • Stay away from places that continuously have loud noises

Really, it’s best to eliminate exposure to loud noise by using hearing protection and keeping the volume down on all your devices. But if you are exposed, schedule a hearing test.

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