When is it too loud? A review of noise induced hearing loss
As part of modern day culture, we are constantly surrounded by noise; from traffic to the dull hum of computers and laptops. It’s difficult to get away from unwanted background noise. The noises that can intrude in our lives can also cause hearing loss, or, more specifically, noise induced hearing loss. We are here to give you all the information you need about noise induced hearing loss, including causes, symptoms and possible prevention of any further damage.
The ear is made up of sensitive hairs and the cochlear. The hairs help to move the sounds you hear to the cochlear, where it then comes into contact with a nerve in the ear and sent to the brain for further processing. Noise induced hearing loss is caused when the hairs and cochlear are damaged by exposure to excessive noise or noise over a prolonged period of time. The damage occurs due to the high impact of sound on the hairs and cochlear. After age related hearing loss, noise induced hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss.
It can be the case that noise induced hearing loss factors into age related hearing loss, building gradually overtime. The speed and level of damage to the ear and hearing depends on many components. These can include; length of time exposed to sounds, loudness of sound and how close you are to the sound.
The symptoms of noise induced hearing loss can apply to any hearing loss. In terms of signs that both you and your close ones might find are:
- Difficultly hearing people or misunderstanding what they say
- Having the TV or radio at a higher volume than previously
- Finding it difficult to localise sounds
- Feeling more tired and stressed after having to concentrate on listening
All of these are symptoms of almost all types of hearing loss and it’s important to get it seen to as soon as you are able to.
Prevention of noise induced hearing loss
Unlike some other types of hearing loss, such as genetics, there are preventative measures available for noise induced hearing loss. These prevention measures are simple to use whilst remaining impactful when protecting your hearing. The types of hearing protection available are:
- Earplugs – work best against low frequency noises, such as a baseline in music. Nightclub staff are required to wear these.
- Earmuffs – work best with high frequency noise, such as an airplane taking off. You’ll often see airport staff wearing earmuffs to protect their hearing when they are outside among the aircraft.
These preventative tools can protect you from developing noise induced hearing loss and causing any damage to your ears. However, if you feel you may already be suffering from hearing loss, noise induced or not, it’s best to be seen to as soon as possible. You can book a free hearing test or find a local Hearing Centre online today. We’re here to help you with you hearing.