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Did You Know…

Is It Possible to Experience Hearing Loss From Loud Noise?

Our ability to hear is one of the most important senses we have. It allows us to communicate with our friends and family, enjoy music and audiobooks, and also be alerted to danger, like oncoming cars. But did you know that loud noise can actually damage the delicate structures of your inner ear, causing hearing loss?

It's true! Though we tend to associate hearing loss with older adults, it's possible to experience hearing loss at any age, especially when caused by loud noises. In fact, exposure to loud noises is one of the most common causes of sensorineural hearing loss, and according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, about 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have noise-induced hearing loss.

Over time, exposure to loud noise can cause the tiny hair cells in the inner ear to break down. These hair cells are normally responsible for sending sound signals to the brain, but when they're damaged, they can't do their job as well. This can lead to a decrease in hearing ability and, eventually, hearing loss.

Noise-induced hearing loss can happen suddenly, as the result of a single event, or gradually, as the result of exposure to loud noises over time. It can be temporary or permanent. Perhaps most importantly, it can happen to anyone.



Understanding Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Sounds are a part of our everyday life, from the sound of your (or your neighbor's) dog barking in the morning to the sound of traffic around you on your way to work. These sounds add color and richness to our lives, but when they reach a certain volume, the sounds of our daily lives can become damaging.

Think about when you wear headphones; do you listen to your music, videos, or phone calls at full volume? Or maybe you work at a construction site or factory where loud noises are a regular part of your day. Or, maybe you typically live a quiet life, but you attended a concert or sports event where the speakers or crowd were too loud.

Either way, you may be putting your hearing at risk. Noise-induced hearing loss symptoms include: 

  • Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
  • Difficulty hearing other people, especially in groups or in noisy places
  • Muffled hearing
  • Feeling like your ears are full or plugged

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to see a Hearing Unlimited audiologist as soon as possible.

This kind of hearing loss is often permanent, but it's also 100% preventable. By taking steps to reduce your exposure to loud noise, you can protect your hearing and enjoy the sounds of life for years to come.

However, for those already experiencing hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss, the experts at Hearing Unlimited have solutions.

Evidence-Based Solutions

Address Your Hearing Loss with Hearing Aids

For those with noise-induced hearing loss, hearing aids are a popular solution to help improve hearing. With modern technology, hearing aids can be customized to each individual’s unique hearing needs and preferences.

Hearing aids can provide many benefits, including:

  • Improved hearing in noisy environments
  • Increased ability to understand speech
  • Reduced strain on family and friends
  • Better overall communication

At Hearing Unlimited, we offer a number of brands and styles of hearing aids in order to best find one that fits your individual needs. After an assessment with one of our specialists, we’ll help you find the perfect hearing aid for you.

Plus, with our 7 Day Test Drive, you'll have the opportunity to try out your new hearing aids and make sure they're right for you! After a week, you'll have the opportunity to share your thoughts with us. If our hearing aids didn't improve your life, there's no obligation to buy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the effects of noise-induced hearing loss?

People with noise-induced hearing loss often struggle with tinnitus (ringing in the ear), as well as difficulty hearing in noisy environments, understanding speech, and communication overall. If you think you may have noise-induced hearing loss, the first step is to schedule an appointment with the hearing experts at Hearing Unlimited.

How can noise-induced hearing loss be prevented?

There are several steps you can take to prevent ear damage from loud noises.  Some of these steps include:

  • Wearing earplugs or noise-canceling headphones when exposed to loud noises
  • Limiting exposure to loud noises
  • Taking breaks from loud noises every 15 minutes
  • Staying at least six feet away from speakers at concerts or other events

What should I do if I suffer ear damage from loud noise?

If you think you may have suffered ear damage from loud noise, reach out to the ear doctors at Hearing Unlimited. With a comprehensive hearing evaluation, we'll be able to determine the best course of treatment for your unique situation.

How can I get noise-induced hearing loss treatment from an audiologist near me?

Our hearing aid services are available at several locations throughout the Pittsburgh area, so finding a specialist near you is easy. Plus, for those can’t make it to us, we also offer house calls. To get started, all you have to do is schedule an appointment online with our hearing experts!