Every day, we experience noises in the environment. Normally these sounds are at safe levels and don’t affect your hearing. However, exposure to loud noises (even for a brief time) can cause permanent damage to your hearing.
Common symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss include:
When to See a Doctor
See a doctor if you are experiencing any changes in your hearing. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist called an audiologist. Audiologists are healthcare professionals who diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss in children and adults.
Noise-induced hearing loss is hearing loss or a hearing impairment as a result of exposure to loud sounds. Individuals exposed to loud noises over long periods of time are at higher risk of developing NIHL.
Diagnosis and Tests
Your doctor will first go over your medical history and ask you about your exposure to loud sounds. Your doctor will check the inside of your ears to see if there are any other causes of your hearing loss. You will then have a hearing test to determine the severity of your hearing loss.
Because the damage from noise exposure is usually gradual, you might not notice it, or you might ignore the signs of hearing loss until they become more pronounced. Once you begin to lose your hearing, there is no way to bring it back. The hair cells and structures in the inner ear do not heal or grow back. The only treatment for permanent hearing loss is the use of hearing aids.
For more information: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/services/hearing-balance/