Is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Permanent?

Loud speakers can cause noise-induced hearing loss that is permanent.

It’s extremely common for people to have loss of hearing caused by repeated subjection to loud noise. Your hearing can be permanently impaired if you spend a lot of time around noise that exceeds 85 dB.

Exactly How Does Noise-Related Hearing Loss Work?

This is a kind of sensorineural hearing loss where hair cells inside of your inner ear are permanently destroyed by noise.

A gradual deterioration of hearing, eventually bringing about permanent hearing loss, develops when you are exposed to very loud noise for a long period of time. It can also be caused by a single instance of a loud burst of sound that can instantly cause hearing loss.

More than 17 percent of individuals between 20 to 69 have hearing loss that is caused by their work or recreational activities. Here are a few examples of noises that can cause hearing loss:

  • Motorcycles
  • Chainsaws
  • Sirens
  • Jet engines
  • Busy Traffic
  • Nearby fireworks
  • Loud headphoness
  • Construction equipment

Is it Reversible?

There is presently no remedy for noise-related hearing loss (though scientists are working on it). Some of the damage inside your ear could be caused by inflammation so you should consult a doctor if you’ve been exposed to sudden loud noise. If you could minimize the inflammation you may be able to reduce some permanent damage. Waves of sound are sent to the brain by the little hair cells in the ear. If noise harms or destroys them, they are unable to regenerate. So once they are gone, irreversible hearing loss is the result. This is the reason why it is critical that you take the necessary steps to safeguard your hearing, and if you are exposed to a loud noise, that you speak with a specialist as soon as possible.

Addressing The Problem With Research

There is presently no solution for this condition. However, researchers are searching for ways to restore noise-related hearing loss. There are clinical trials, for example, that are attempting to regrow these hairs with an experimental drug. Age-induced hearing loss and loud noise can damage these hairs, but regrowth would help repair hearing if researchers are able to get the drug to work.

What Hearing Remains Needs to be Protected

Noise induced hearing loss can’t be healed but if you take specific steps to protect your ears, the hearing you have left can be protected into the future. You can:

  • Use the appropriate hearing protection devices, like earmuffs or earplugs if you work in places with persistently loud noises
  • Get routine hearing tests
  • When you’re at home, limit your exposure to overly loud activities
  • If there are places that regularly have loud noise – stay away from them
  • Treat any hearing loss you have with hearing aids

Lowering the volume on your devices, wearing ear protection, and avoiding overly loud noise is the best way to safeguard your hearing. But if you are exposed, schedule a hearing test.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.