Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

What Is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and How to Protect Yourself From Exposure to Loud Noises

Repeated exposure to sounds that can be termed as loud is a very real health concern. Experts in the field have consistently pointed out that repeated exposure to noise that is above the 85-decibel threshold can really cause a lot of damage to the hearing organs of a person. But, as it is very important to note, it is crucial to realize that just as we cannot control the environments we are in, we also cannot control the level of noise we are exposed to. It is also important to realize that not all hope is lost. There are steps you can take to mitigate this issue as well. There are steps you can take to minimize the risks of being exposed to loud noises so that it does not affect your hearing. Let’s take a look at what those exactly entail.

What are the signs that you are getting overexposed to loud noises?

If you ever experienced a gunshot from close proximity, you will know that these types of loud noises have the potential to cause pain and also to cause hearing loss for a short period of time. These types of obvious things are examples that you are exposed to loud noises that can potentially cause a lot of problems. It is not every day that you will be exposed to sounds of this decibel range, but it is important to note that they sometimes happen.

Let us now take a look at something that is much more common. You must have experienced this if you have ever gone to a concert or worked with heavy equipment for extended periods of time. You must have noticed that you felt a ringing in your ears and might have also experienced hearing that can be best described as being dull. While you may not realize it at the time, the after-effects that these produced are a clear sign that you were definitely experiencing over-exposure to noise.

What to do when you are exposed to loud noises

Being aware of the conditions that are required to deem a situation as being too loud is one of the first steps in making sure that you protect yourself against these situations. It will make sure that you are much more reactive the next time you find yourself in a situation that is similar. Below we have listed some of the things that you can do immediately when you find yourself in an environment that is too loud.

  • If this is possible at all, turn down the noise level or just completely off.
  • Try to evacuate the scene as quickly as possible
  • Use your fingers to plug your ears
  • Make use of ear protection devices such as headphones or earplugs.
  • Try using hearing aids to see if your hearing improves

Making sure that you do not put yourself in these situations?

While you cannot just guarantee that you will never be exposed to incredibly loud noises that can cause damage to your ears, you can better protect yourself against the loud noises that you can expect to arise out of your daily routine. If you know, for example, that you are going to be attending a concert in the near future, make sure that you take ear protection with you. Also, make sure that when you listen to music, you do not just blast it on your headphones or speakers. It is also a good idea to make sure that you do not wear headphones or earbuds for extended periods of time. There are also apps available in the market that can really assist you with this, so make sure that you make the most out of the resources that you do have.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss: What is it?

This type of hearing loss, known as Noise-induced hearing loss (NHL), is a type of hearing loss that happens when an individual is exposed to loud noises on a repeated basis. The type of hearing loss that that individual will experience will depend a lot on how the bones of the ear were damaged. The structure of the ear is responsible for regulating our ability to hear. It sounds like it is able to enter the outer layer of the earthen travels to the eardrums. This works because the eardrums then vibrate because of the sound waves that enter the ear, and these vibrations are then sent to the tinier bones within the middle ear. These signals reach the brain. Eventually, One of the best ways to describe the NHL is to think of it in terms of wear and tear of the ears.

The unit of measurement for sounds is known as decibels. Sounds below 75 decibels are extremely unlikely to cause any issues to your ears. Sounds above the range of 85 decibels really do have the potential to cause damage to your hearing. In fact, the higher the decibel levels are, the shorter the amount of time is required to be exposed to it to cause damage to the ears.

Another thing that we must note here is that if you are exposed to noises above the safety decibel levels, then you may soon find yourself beginning to slowly lose your hearing. You may also find that you hear sounds as being muffled and/or distorted. Eventually, you will start having problems understanding the speech of others. This type of repeated exposure to loud sounds can also cause a very common hearing condition known as tinnitus. This has been described as being a persistent ringing in the ears or sometimes also a buzzing sound in the ears that is constant.

Therefore, it is very important to take proper precautions whenever we find ourselves in environments with loud noises. Another thing that has to be mentioned is that absolutely anyone of any age can develop hearing loss due to the NHL. Therefore, what has been said in this article is applicable to everyone.

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