What is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Hearing impairments are very common for most Americans. They can be caused by a variety of things, but loud noises are among the most common causes. The roar of a motorcycle, the scream of a siren: All of these things can diminish your hearing, if you’re not careful. Hearing impairment caused by loud noise is called Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, or NIHL.
What Is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
NIHL is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s hearing impairment caused by loud noises. Loud sounds can cause lasting damage to your inner ear. Even a small amount of exposure to these sounds can cause damage. Prolonged exposure can be devastating. The sum total of the damage caused by loud noise, whether the damage is permanent or temporary, is called NIHL. It’s a problem faced by millions of Americans every year.
Who Is Affected By Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
Anyone can be affected by NIHL. While NIHL is more common in adults, many teenagers also exhibit symptoms. Studies indicate that about one in seven people aged 12 to 19 experience NIHL symptoms, while up to one in four people aged 20 to 69 experience the same. There is little evidence to indicate that NIHL is more common in one sex or the other either. In other words, NIHL is extremely common, regardless of who you are. However, if you take the appropriate steps with your hearing care, NIHL is preventable.
How You Can Prevent NIHL
There are several steps you can take to prevent NIHL. For one, it helps to be aware of your environment. If you’re around loud noises, especially if it’s for a prolonged period of time, you should probably take precautionary measures. Earplugs are appropriate and absolutely necessary in some situations. If earplugs aren’t an option, though, you should at least try to move away from the offending sound. Finally, if you’re exhibiting any symptoms of NIHL, visit your audiologist and have your hearing tested. It’s probably best to be diagnosed earlier rather than later. That way, you can come up with a treatment plan with your audiologist to address your symptoms.
NIHL can be painful, but if you take steps to combat it, it can also be manageable. If you believe that you are experiencing the symptoms of NIHL, please reach out to us at Chicago Beltone. Our experienced team or audiologists and hearing care experts are at your disposal, and we want to help. If you’d like to schedule a hearing test with us, or just an appointment, call our number at (888) 485-5452.