Loud noises, whether instant or over time can cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Noise-induced hearing loss can happen through occupational hazards or even leisure activities, so everyone young and old must be aware of the dangers that loud noises can bring to your hearing. Once there is a hearing loss from NIHL, it cannot be recovered.
Types of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
There are two different types of noise-induced hearing loss. In some cases noise-induced hearing loss happens from when there is a sudden, intense loud noise like an airhorn or a gunshot. In other cases, noise-induced hearing loss can happen as hearing deteriorates over time due to chronic and repeated noise exposure, as in loud music. The important thing to remember is that NIHL is preventable, so everyone must remain aware and vigilant about protecting their hearing in any types of situations that might cause it.
Sources of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
NIHL can come from a variety of sources. It is important to understand that even seemingly benign situations can cause hearing loss, or something as quick as a gunshot can affect your hearing for the rest of your life. According to Wikipedia, 15% of young people are exposed to sufficient leisure noises that can cause NIHL like:
- Sporting events
- Daily activities
- Personal listening devices
However, most NIHL is caused through occupational exposures, some examples include:
- Construction jobs
- Machine shops
- Jobs with loud machinery
- Military service
Prevention Strategies for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Preventing NIHL is the best avenue because once hearing is lost, it’s gone forever. At that point, there are always hearing assistive devices and cognitive therapies; but preventing it is the best medicine. Here are some tools and strategies to prevent noise-induced hearing loss:
- Lower the volume of listening devices and phones.
- Limit the time of exposure to loud noises.
- Support government regulations that are put in place to limit occupational exposures to noises that are dangerously loud.
- Wear protective earplugs or headphones designed to be noise cancelling and protect your ears and hearing.
Hearing Solutions, Inc. Protecting Your Hearing and Helping with Hearing Loss
At Hearing Solutions, Inc., we are here to help you deal with hearing loss but also to help prevent hearing loss. Since noise-induced hearing loss is preventable, we are here to help you with tools to prevent it, please contact us at Hearing Solutions, Inc. to schedule an appointment.