One of the most common chronic medical conditions from which people suffer is hearing loss. Many people do not realize just how much they depend on their auditory health throughout the day. Furthermore, because most forms of auditory loss are gradual, many people do not realize when they suffer from hearing loss at first. Similar to other chronic medical conditions, there are multiple types of hearing loss. One of the most common types of hearing loss is called noise-induced hearing loss. When it comes to this type of auditory loss, there are several important points that everyone should keep in mind. What should people know about noise-induced hearing loss?
What Is Noise Induced Hearing Loss?
For those who might not know, noise-induced auditory loss is a specific type of auditory impairment that develops when people are continually exposed to loud sounds. Even though many people have varying degrees of sensitivity to loud noises, continual exposure to loud sound is eventually going to lead to an auditory loss. In some situations, people develop noise-induced hearing loss because of attending too many loud concerts or events. Other people might develop noise-induced loss because of exposure to loud noises at work, such as working around jet engines.
Hearing usually deteriorates gradually with this condition. Chronic and repeated exposure to loud noises is going to damage the ears. In some cases, noise-induced loss could result acutely. This is usually from exposure to something called an impulse noise. This could be an air horn or a gunshot. When someone has a noise-induced auditory loss, they have suffered severe damage to certain cells in the ears, usually the hair cells. The sooner noise-induced this loss is diagnosed, the more effective treatment is. For this reason, there are a few important points that everyone should note about the symptoms of noise-induced loss.
How Do I Know if I Suffer from Noise Induced Hearing Loss?
For those who are wondering if they might suffer from noise-induced hearing loss, there are a few common symptoms that will rise to the surface. These include:
- Individuals are having trouble following a conversation. This is usually a sign that the ears are having trouble either picking up on what is being said or cutting through background noise.
- Individuals with noise-induced auditory loss will often have trouble understanding conversations in noisy places. These might include shopping malls or movie theaters.
- Those who suffer from noise-induced loss will often complain that similar consonants are nearly indistinguishable. Sh and th sounds often sound similar as do s and f.
- Individuals who suffer from noise-induced auditory loss often complain that there is ringing in the ears. This ringing could make it hard to concentrate.
- If other people in the room are complaining that the TV or radio are too loud, this is a sign that someone probably suffers from noise-induced loss.
Like other chronic medical conditions, noise-induced hearing loss can present differently in different people. That is why it is a good idea for everyone to make sure that they get their ears checked at least once per year.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss Audiogram
When individuals visit the doctor to get their auditory health checked, the doctor is going to produce something called an audiogram. This audiogram test is used to figure out which sounds a patient can still hear. The doctor is going to produce at different frequencies. Then, he or she is going to figure out which frequencies the patient can still hear. If there are severe deficiencies, particularly at higher frequencies, then this is a sign that someone has noise-induced loss.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss Treatment
For those who have been diagnosed with noise-induced loss, there are a few treatment options available. One option involves auditory aids. These aids are designed to amplify sound as it enters the patient’s ears. This makes it easier for patients to tell what is going on in the room.
Another option that might be good for some patients with noise-induced auditory loss is called a cochlear implant. A cochlear implant is designed to allow noise to bypass the outer and middle ear, sending sound waves directly to the inner ear. Even though this is a common treatment in younger patients, it does have some utility in noise-induced loss treatment as well.
Rely on the Trained Specialists at Harbor Audiology and Hearing Services
This is just a brief overview of some of the most important points to keep in mind when it comes to noise-induced auditory loss. This is one of the most common causes of loss and there are treatment options available for patients who need them. Anyone who is looking for help with their hearing should reach out to a specialist at Harbor Audiology and Hearing Services today. We have a wide range of treatment options available for multiple types of hearing loss. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment with a member of our team!