What Exactly Is Noise Induced Loss of Hearing?

Even though the changes in technology and industries around the world have helped make society achieve levels that they never thought possible, it is that same progress that has also made the world that much nosier of a place to live. Noise pollution is one of the top hazards to our health and it can be found just about anywhere you look. Radios, leaf blowers, car alarms and traffic jams flood our cities with sound levels that exceed the recommended hearing decibels. Many people believe that if they live in the country there will not be an issue with noise. However, farmers are at risk for noise exposure as a result of the machinery they use on their farms.

The one thing to remember is that a noise that is potentially harmful may not always be something that you do not want to hear. Music at one of your favorite concerts or a jackhammer pounding away on the sidewalks can both cause a lot of damage to your inner ear. Many sounds that deliver an equal intensity are just as dangerous as the other sounds out there, regardless of from where they are coming. Over time the repeated exposure to the high intensity sounds will end up causing trauma to your ear. Once your ears have encountered this trauma, you may be prone to hearing loss, a ringing in the ears and the occasional bouts of dizziness. Sometimes you may experience non-auditory effects that include an increase in your blood pressure or heart rate.

Approximately a third of the population with some form of hearing loss has an impairment that can be attributed in some way to an excessive amount of noise. Noise is the most common cause of hearing loss that we can prevent.

How Do You know if a Situation is Dangerous to Your Hearing?

People will have different sensitivity levels when it comes to noise. As a rule, noise may be damaging to a person's hearing when any of the following appear:

• The noise causes ear pain

• It is necessary to shout in order to be heard over the noise in the background

• After being exposed to the noise, the person is unable to hear for several hours afterwards

A lot of people once thought that you could make your ears tougher by simply listening to loud noises on a regular basis, but this is nowhere near the truth. In reality, the repeated noise has probably caused such damage to the ears that the person is not able to hear those specific noises as much. There is no treatment available for hearing loss that has occurred from excessive noise once the damage has already taken place.

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