Can you believe the sound you hear is all thanks to tiny little hair cells in your inner ear? As sound waves travel through the air and reach those hair cells, they’re transformed into a signal that your brain recognizes as sound. If these hair cells are damaged, hearing loss is often the result which is illustrated with the image below.
So, what can damage these cells? Loud noise is a common culprit. Constant exposure to loud noise overstimulates and damages them overtime, leading to noise-induced hearing loss. This typically takes place in the part of the ear that recognizes high-frequency sounds, making it difficult to understand certain parts of speech.
If you believe you’re living with noise-induced hearing loss, a hearing evaluation is a great first step in better understanding your hearing abilities and learning how to tackle the symptoms.Book an appointment with one of our hearing centers to get your hearing tested for noise induced hearing loss.
The cause of noise-induced hearing loss is - you guessed it - noise. In a busy, bustling world, loud sounds are all around us. Chainsaws and power tools may be the first thing to come to mind, but even long exposure to noise from a hair dryer or your smoothie maker can do harm to the tiny hair cells in your inner ear. That’s right, even sounds that appear comfortable can be harmful after a while.
Noise-induced hearing loss can result from one-time exposure, such as an extremely loud explosion, or exposure to loud noise overtime. The distance from the source, the duration of exposure and the decibel level all come into play. Long or repeated exposure to sounds over 85 dB is likely to cause damage over time.
Noise-induced hearing loss can present itself in many ways and, since it can come on gradually, symptoms may not always be apparent. If any of the following signs apply to you, you may be living with noise-induced hearing loss. Not sure what to do next? Our online hearing screening is a great first step.
Noise-induced hearing loss generally affects higher frequencies, such as not being able to hear birds chirping, doorbells and phones ringing as well as struggling to hear women’s and children’s voices. This results in an audiogram notch or dip at around 4,000 Hz. Depending on the severity of the hearing loss, this notch can deepen and widen into lower frequencies as well.
Since aging can also affect hearing abilities, this notch may become less prominent overtime as more frequencies are affected. Noise-induced hearing loss is often symmetrical and will affect both ears.
Audiograms can help you better understand the nature and severity of your hearing loss, making them a great tool for establishing proper treatment methods.
The chart demonstrates how noise-induced hearing loss can progress if left untreated.Book an appointment with one of our hearing centers to get your hearing tested for noise induced hearing loss.
By taking the following steps to protect your hearing, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss and ensure that your hearing stays healthy for years to come.