Noise Related Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss Due To Noise

Sounds are all around us, and sometimes these sounds are so loud that they can damage our hearing and cause hearing loss. The key to healthy hearing is understanding how much damage these loud sounds can cause. It’s not always possible to prevent hearing loss but there are ways you can help to protect your hearing and prevent any future issues.

What is noise-induced hearing loss?

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) happens when the structures of the inner ear, including the nerve hair cells in the cochlea, are damaged by noise that is beyond safe levels. Noise induced hearing loss may be gradual, permanent or temporary.

Signs and symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss

A single incidence of very loud noise has the power to create sudden noise-induced hearing loss. However, for most people the damage is more gradual. NIHL can also cause high-pitched tinnitus. Some signs of NIHL include:

  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears
  • Distorted or muffled sounds
  • Difficulty communicating and understanding conversation

Causes of noise-induced hearing loss

NIHL can be caused by exposure to short periods of excessive noise, such as an explosion, or long term exposure to loud sounds. Prolonged exposure to sounds such as loud music festivals or concerts, motorcycle engines and heavy machinery can gradually take its toll on your hearing without you even noticing, even causing permanent damage. Regular exposure to sounds at 85 decibels or above can affect your hearing permanently, so it’s important to take steps to combat this.

Preventing noise-induced hearing loss

The important thing to remember is that you can take preventative measures to protect your hearing. Some ways you can protect your hearing and prevent hearing loss include:

  • Reducing your exposure time to high noise levels
  • Use hearing protection at loud concerts and other events
  • Lower the volume on personal music devices 
  • Use noise-cancelling headphones
  • Turn the volume down on your television or radio at home
  • Wear hearing protection when working with noisy equipment or heavy machinery

If you’re concerned about your hearing, our team of expert audiologists at Bay Audiology are available to answer any questions you may have about protecting your hearing. Book an appointment today to learn more about your hearing health and find a treatment that’s right for you. 

 

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