wearing headphones

Can You Hear it: Preventing Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

On-Point Health

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is one of the common causes of nerve deafness. Approximately 26 million Americans have this kind of problem that may have been caused by exposure to loud sounds or noise at work or other activities. NIHL doesn’t hurt or happen straight away. It can take 10 to 20 years before you know you have a problem.

What Causes NIHL?

This kind of hearing loss happens when too much noise damages the hair cells in the inner ear. The hair cells convert the sounds that you hear into signals that travel to the brain. Hair cells that have been damaged by noise exposure cannot grow back.

Reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss with the following tips:

Protect Your Hearing

The louder the noise and the longer you’re exposed to it, the greater the risk of damaging your hearing. Use ear protectors such as earmuffs or earplugs if you work in a noisy environment. You should also wear earmuffs when using power tools, firearms, or riding a motorcycle.

Use Noise-cancelling Headphones

It is much better to use headphones that block more outside noise instead of increasing the volume. These headphones allow you to hear the music in a lower volume. You can purchase new noise-cancelling headphones or buy add-ons that block more outside noise for your existing device.

Turn Down the Volume

Avoid setting your television, radio, or music devices on extremely loud volumes. A small reduction in volume can make a big difference to the risk of damage to your hearing. If you can’t have a normal conversation with someone while listening to your device, you have to turn the volume down.

Seek Help

If you suspect hearing loss, contact an ear doctor for a hearing test. This will evaluate the hearing capacity of your ears and determine which sound and volume you can hear without difficulty. The test results will dictate if you need to wear hearing aids or undergo other types of treatment.

Stay Away from Loud Noise

The best way to avoid developing this kind of hearing loss is to stay away from loud noise as much as possible. If you frequently spend time in a noisy environment or listen to loud music a lot, you could lose your hearing without realizing it.

Don’t let NIHL affect your quality of life. Follow these tips or contact hearing aid companies to address the hearing problem as early as possible.

Resources:
https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/noisehearingconservation/
http://www.hear4less.com/
http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hearing-loss-cause