Saturday, October 1, 2022

Is noise damaging your hearing?



In the modern world, noise is everywhere, such as traffic noise, sirens, TV blaring, construction noise, etc. Such sounds are often so loud that they appear in the background. The problem is that loud noises have a serious and permanent effect on hearing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 17 percent of Americans ages 20 to 69 (about 2.6 million people) have noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

When there is this rate in a developed country like America, it can be shown that more people are affected than this rate in our country. “Noise-induced hearing loss is the second most common cause of hearing loss in the elderly,” says Joseph Seymour, M.D., an ear, nose and throat specialist at St. Joseph’s Mercy Health System in Michigan. This is a problem that is often faced.”

Noise-induced hearing loss

Hearing is a very complex function and it is also surprisingly delicate. The cells in the inner ear are different from the cells in the skin. Once destroyed, they do not grow back. The thousands of cells inside the ear play an important role in translating sound waves into electrical signals and sending them to your brain, where they are perceived as sound. Very loud sounds can damage, or even destroy, these cells. In addition, the auditory nerve, which transmits electrical signals, can also be damaged by loud noises.

Noise-induced hearing loss can be the result of long-term exposure to loud sounds, such as riding a tractor for hours a day or wearing headphones at high volume. A very loud, one-time sound, such as an explosion or gunshot, can also damage hearing. The good news is that noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented, as long as you take some precautions to protect your ears.

Know the symptoms

The two most common symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss are hearing loss and ringing or buzzing in the ears (tinnitus). Apart from this, there are some other symptoms such as;

Asking people to repeat things often.

Difficulty hearing when there is background noise.

Feeling the constant need to turn up the volume on your TV or headphones.

* Voices are getting worse or sounding garbled.

Stopping the error completely

Noise level is measured in decibels (dBA). The higher the decibel level, the shorter the time you can safely listen to the sound at that volume. Avoiding all loud noises is difficult, but avoid going to noisy places as much as possible. If you work in a loud environment, such as a manufacturing plant, your employer should follow certain guidelines, says Seymour.

In the US, employers are required to provide their workers with hearing protection when the decibels are above 85, and the average work hours should not exceed eight hours. You can also follow these general guidelines below to protect your hearing by avoiding loud noises.

Keep yourself informed: Assess what type and level of noise can damage your hearing. If you are in a place where people are shouting, this level of noise can be dangerous for your ears.

Avoid noise when possible: If possible, stay away from situations and places where loud noises are heard. If you can’t avoid them completely, then take breaks. Remember, the length of stay in a noisy place and the volume of the noise are the two main factors.

Use protective equipment: Stuffing cotton balls in the ears will not work. Instead, use earplugs that fit in the ear canal or earmuffs that completely cover the ears. Use earplugs and earmuffs together for the loudest sounds that last eight hours or more.

Overcome the urge to raise your voice: Resist your urge to turn up the volume and keep your TV, headphones, and any other controllable audio outputs in life at normal volume.

Be smart with headphones: Seymour advises patients to follow the 60 rule. That is, don’t keep your headphone usage at 60 percent of the device’s volume capacity for more than 60 minutes. When you listen alone, use headphones instead of earbuds. Consider buying noise-canceling headphones.

If you are exposed to loud noises in your daily routine, it is wise to have your hearing checked regularly, especially if you suspect hearing loss. Early detection can help you identify a situation that is causing damage and prevent it in the future.



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by Azadi Times

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