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Noise Induced Hearing Loss
The sound of a baby crying, a dog barking, or the evening news are all noises we hear through the day without giving it much thought. People who are living with noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) understand just how important your sense of hearing is. These people have either partial or total loss of hearing, and dealing with this can be very difficult. It is estimated that about fifteen percent of the people living in the United States are dealing with NIHL. There are many reasons that hearing loss occurs and many ways that you can prevent this irreparable damage from being done, before it is too late.
All sound can be measured based on how strong or loud a noise it makes. Sound level is ranked based on the measurement of units called decibels. The higher the decibel is the louder the sound. Basic sounds that we hear every day, like normal conversation have a decibel level of around 60, which is an acceptable level for most people.
When sounds rank at a decibel level of over 85, this can cause a problem with your hearing. When sounds are continuously heard at this level over an extended period of time, hearing damage can be done. Damage can also be done with just one singular exposure to a loud sound. A sound louder than 120 decibels, such as the sound of an explosion or a firecracker, instant hearing loss can occur.
There are tiny hair cells that are found on the inside part of your ear. These hair cells are sensory cells that transfer the sound you hear into a signal to the brain telling it that a sound has been heard. When these hair cells are damaged, hearing loss can happen. Unfortunately, once the hair cells are damaged there is no repair that can be done to fix it. Sometimes hearing loss can be temporary, which is referred to as temporary threshold shift, which only lasts for between sixteen and forty-eight hours. All other types of noise induced hearing loss are permanent.
There are many causes of noise induced hearing loss. They can be split into two categories. If the hearing loss was caused by one-time exposure than the noise you were exposed to would be a very loud noise. These noises include things like a firearm, dynamite, or an explosion and you would need to be relatively close to the noise to have it damage your ear. If the hearing loss was caused by exposure to loud noises over an extended period of time, the sound would not be quite as loud - but still too loud. These noises include things like power machines, chainsaws or loud music and are sounds that are heard during an extensive timeframe. This type of hearing loss is the most preventable.
Some people who have hearing loss are not even aware that they suffer from this condition. One of the first signs that you can look for as a warning that you might be starting to have a hearing loss, is having trouble hearing what people are saying to you. You may hear that they are talking and understand most of what they say but you still have trouble hearing all of the words that are spoken. Another sign is that sounds around you start to be distorted or muffled and you are just not hearing them like you know you should. If you start to experience these symptoms you should immediately contact your doctor who can give you a hearing test to check.
Prevention is the key when it comes to hearing loss, and it is important to realize that hearing loss is one hundred percent preventable. Since the damage cannot be repaired it is vital that you prevent the damage from happening in the first place. First, you should educate yourself on what kinds of noises are damaging and what noises are normal. This will help you know when you need protection for your ears. When you are going to be exposed to loud noises over a long duration, you should always wear earplugs in your ears. Earplugs are specifically designed to protect your ear from the damage that loud noises can cause.
To learn more about a successful hearing loss treatment check out The Hearing Fix today.