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Gardner Audiology Hearing Health: Can loud sounds cause hearing loss?

Protecting one’s ears from sounds that are too loud is very important. Hearing loss can be a direct result of choosing to not wear hearing protection. This type of hearing loss that is caused by loud sounds is known as noise-induced hearing loss or for short NIHL. A NIHL can occur immediately or gradually after exposure to the loud sound. Typically, this hearing loss happens gradually over time and can take a long to become noticeable. One might not even know that they are causing damage to their hearing, but they could have trouble in the future. Gradual NIHL is permanent and irreversible but properly fitted hearing aids do improve hearing ability ability.

Although it is typically unusual for individuals to suffer a sudden loss of hearing from exposure to loud sounds, it does happen. However, what is more, typical is a gradual change in one’s ability to hear that takes place over the years. This is where the problem stems from. Typically, like most other health issues that occur slowly; we ignore what is not a problem today in the hopes that it will not be a problem later.

Most individual will first notice trouble with hearing in group situation and noisy environments. The inclination is to blame the hearing problem on the size of the group, the room, or even the amount of background noise present. Thereafter, one will most likely find themselves turning up the TV or radio. One may also find that they will avoid going to places where they know they will struggle to understand what is being said. An example of these situations are movie theaters and restaurants. Eventually, friends and family will advise you find a solution to the problem.

Noise induced hearing loss is usually permanent and irreversable however hearing aids usually help. So, can hearing loss be prevented? A NIHL is preventable. If you understand the hazards of noise and how to practice good hearing health, you can protect your hearing. Call 1-800-277-1182 if you have a history of noise exposure. The hearing doctors at Gardner Audiology can screen your hearing and discuss different ear protection options. They also provide custom made hearing protection for firearm shooters and those exposed to occupational noise.

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Megan Labbe, B.S., Gardner Audiology Doctoral Extern

Megan Labbe, B.S., Gardner Audiology Doctoral Extern

Megan Labbe, B.S., Gardner Audiology Doctoral Extern

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