Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Excessive noise exposure damages the delicate hair cells in the inner ear. This can result in damage, which is often permanent sensorineural hearing loss and can sometimes result in tinnitus also known as “ringing of the ears.”
Some warning signs of noise exposure:
- You hear ringing or buzzing (tinnitus) in your ears after exposure to noise
- After exposure to noise, you notice that you can hear people talking, but you have difficulty understanding them.
- You experience “fullness” in your ears after leaving a noisy area.
What can be done to protect your hearing:
- Wear hearing protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs, consistently when using loud equipment at work or at home. Custom hearing protection can be ordered through the audiologist.
- Control the volume when you can and limit exposure to noisy activities at home. Reduce the noise in your life by turning down the volume on the stereo, TV, car radio, and especially on personal listening devices with earphones or ear buds.
- Don’t wait to protect yourself. After noise-related damage to the ears is done, it cannot be reversed. But if you already have some noise-related hearing loss, it is not too late to protect yourself from further possible hearing damage. Preserve the hearing you still have by wearing hearing protection when you are around sounds greater than 85 dB for an extended period of time.