Facts You Should Know Regarding Hearing and Noise
- Excessive noise is a leading cause of permanent hearing loss.
- Early signs that noise is affecting the ears may be tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and a slight sense of muffled hearing.
- Damage due to noise exposure is cumulative. Every time the ears are reexposed to noise, the damage increases.
- Hearing loss due to noise starts in the high pitches and will spread to the mid and low pitches if exposure continues.
- Hearing loss in the high pitches will create difficulty in perceiving the consonant sounds of speech. Speech will not sound clear; words will not be distinguished correctly. Women’s and children’s voices will be particularly difficult to understand.
- Continued noise exposure will result in permanent, irreversible hearing loss. There is no medicine or surgical treatment to restore hearing once it is damaged this way.
- Excessive noise physically damages or destroys the sensory fibers of the inner ear. As noise exposure is repeated, more fibers are lost. They cannot be regenerated.
- There is no such thing as “toughening up” your ears. Rather, there is only progressive hearing loss from exposure. The only way to prevent noise induced hearing loss is to protect your ears from loud sounds.