Noise-induced hearing loss is a specific type that can be temporary or permanent in nature and can affect one or both ears. It occurs when excessive noise damages the inner structures of the ear and can be caused by a single exposure to a loud sound or by prolonged exposure to loud sounds over time.
How Does Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Occur?
Our ears are made up of three distinct parts: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. It’s the inner ear that does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of hearing, and as a result, it’s particularly vulnerable to noise-induced damage. When sound reaches our inner ear, hair cells convert the sound waves into electrical energy, which is then sent to the brain for processing via the auditory nerve. When you hear a particularly loud sound or are exposed to loud sounds for an extended period of time, it can damage your delicate hair cells and impede their ability to send signals to the brain. The louder a sound is, the less exposure it takes to cause damage.
Noise-induced hearing loss cannot be cured, but it can be managed. If your hearing has been damaged by noise exposure, consult with a HearingLoss.com certified provider for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan, and take those first important steps toward protecting your ears from noise-induced damage.