Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a type of hearing loss that can creep up on anyone unawares. Exposure to a very loud noise, such as a gunshot, is the more common cause of hearing loss, which could be permanent or cause temporary Tinnitus. There are also other forms of hearing loss such as conductive, sensorineural, and mixed, which have varying degrees of temporariness and permanence. Noise-induced hearing loss can also be either temporary or permanent. It is completely preventable too.
What are the Causes?
In everyday life, we hear tons of sounds: people talking, traffic, opening and closing doors, music on the radio, electric fans, and much more. The noises that may cause hearing loss have to do with their decibel levels.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a normal conversation is usually held at 60 to 70 A-weighted decibels. It is when the noise reaches 85 dBA and above that it can damage one’s ears. Sounds at this level include lawn mowers, music through earbuds or headphones, construction zones, concerts, playing in a music band or group, movie theaters, motorcycles, and sirens. Typical noises, such as white noise, a desk fan, or other ambient noises, do not cause hearing loss, even for a prolonged amount of time.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of Noise-induced hearing loss come gradually and are often not immediately noticeable. Symptoms can be the inability to hear other’s conversations in noisy settings, the sounds of people’s voices as muffled or whispering, and the need to turn up the TV higher than usual. Especially as you get older, NIHL can become more and more apparent. However, NIHL can happen at any age at any time. IIf you suspect that Noise-induced hearing loss may be coming your way, don’t wait to contact an audiologist.
How to Prevent NIHL
The good news is that this type of hearing loss is completely preventable. Awareness to the dangers certain loud noises can pose to your ears is the first step is taking preventative measures. Wearing earplugs, covering your ears or those of children who cannot cover their own, or simply moving away from the center of the noise are sure ways to keep your hearing healthy.
Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.
Come in for a walk-in appointment on Tuesdays & Fridays from 10:00 am to 11:30 am, or contact us to schedule an appointment by calling 410-698-6594 or visiting our contact page. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn for more blog posts, news, and updates!