Noise Related Hearing Loss
Noise related hearing loss is perhaps the most preventable type of hearing loss, yet many of us don’t make the effort to protect ourselves against it.
When the human ear is exposed to damaging levels of noise for extended periods, noise-related hearing damage can occur. Harmful sounds damage the hair-like hearing cells in our inner ear, either from short, extremely loud sounds, like a gunshot, or from continuous noise exposure, like machinery in a factory.
So why don’t we protect ourselves against hearing damage from noise? Very often, we aren’t aware that the noise around us is damaging our hearing. Most people are aware of the potential damage from loud music or loud noises, but few of us understand how many other sources of loud noise can affect our hearing.
Hearing loss is possible from continuous exposure to sounds over 80 decibels, which can include sounds from:
- Heavy automobile traffic
- Hair dryers
- Lawn mowers
- Boat motors
- Food Blenders
While these and any loud sounds can damage your hearing, taking a break from the sound can give your hearing cells a chance to heal. However, constant exposure, day after day without a break, means your hearing cells don’t get a chance to heal and regenerate and they cannot recover from the damage done.
The louder the sound, the shorter the length of time it will take for permanent hearing damage to occur from continuous exposure.
Indicators Of Noise Related Hearing Loss
Do you suspect you have suffered hearing damage from exposure to noise?
Any one of the following symptoms can indicate a hearing loss:
- Sounds seem muffled
- People sound as if they are mumbling
- Ringing in the ears
- Other people feel your TV, radio or audio devices are too loud
- A sense of pressure in the ear, or “stuffed” ears
More Than Hearing Damage
Elevated noise levels have been shown to have adverse effects on human health beyond hearing loss:
- Sleep disorders
- Annoyance – irritability and distraction
Preventing Noise-Related Hearing Damage
Preventative measures that can eliminate or reduce noise-related hearing loss include:
- Hearing Protection: Earplugs and acoustic ear muffs can reduce sound levels to below harmful thresholds and should be worn any time you suspect the sound levels around you could be damaging. Many types of ear protection have been designed for specific applications, including musician’s earplugs and custom industrial noise protection.
- Eliminate or Reduce the Sound Source: whenever possible, avoid exposure to loud noise. If it is necessary to be near high sound levels, try to take an occasional break, step away, close a door, shut down the machine, or whatever it takes to give your ear the chance it needs to stop suffering damage and recuperate.
Hearing Loss Tests
Many people don’t know when they have suffered hearing loss and so don’t know that they expose themselves to damaging noise. The first step is to have your hearing tested by a professional hearing specialist.
Learn more from the experts about hearing damage. Contact Bravo Hearing Centre today at 416-207-9711 or Contact Us.