What Is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (And How to Prevent It)

 Ear damage from loud noise is much more common than you think. Read on to the principal causes of hearing loss and how to prevent it here.

 About 20% of Americans over 12 years old have some kind of hearing loss. Ear damage from loud noise is one of the most common causes.

Hearing loss has many impacts that you don’t think about. It can speed up cognitive decline, cause dementia, heart disease, and other physical and mental health conditions.

Some forms of noise-related hearing loss is preventable as long as you know what situations can cause ear damage. Read on to learn what noise-induced hearing loss is and how you can prevent it.

What Is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?

Your ears are very sensitive organs.

The ear is made up of the outer ear and inner ear (cochlea). The inner ear is responsible for picking up sound waves and sending those signals to the brain. The inner ear is made up of cells, membranes, and thousands of hair cells.

The hair cells pick up the vibration of sound waves. When you are exposed to loud noises, such as a boom or a rock concert, the hair cells get bent or damaged. They can also die, causing permanent ear damage.

Noise-induced hearing loss can be from a one-time incident or due to exposure to loud noise over a long period of time.

What Decibel Level Is Safe?

How loud does a sound have to be to cause damage? A regular conversation with friends is usually about 60 decibels. Noise levels of 70 decibels for a long period of time can cause damage.

Anything that’s 120 decibels or more can cause ear damage immediately.

Common Situations of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

There are a couple of common situations that cause noise-induced hearing loss. These might surprise you. 

1. Work-Related Hearing Loss

Did you know that about 22% of workers are exposed to high levels of noise? Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the common workers' compensation complaints.   

If you suspect that you have hearing loss from work, you’ll want to do a search for “workers comp clinic near me.” 

You'll have to report the hearing loss to your HR department immediately and seek medical attention to have a chance at getting your claim approved. 

2. Headphones

Since the Walkman came out in the 1980s, we can take music anywhere with us. We can use it to tune out the world while we’re walking around or at the gym.
Listening to music through headphones loudly can cause damage to the ears. Prolonged usage can cause permanent damage. Try not to listen to loud music too often, or for too long.

Prevent Ear Damage from Loud Noise

Noise-induced hearing loss is an issue that hasn’t garnered much attention in the media, but it is a serious health problem. It can lead to major health issues such as depression, heart disease, and dementia. Hearing loss can also make people feel isolated.

The best way to prevent ear damage from loud noise is to wear protective gear, especially at work or in a crowded stadium. You also want to limit your time listening to headphones and do so with the volume down.

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