It is well known that loud sounds can cause hearing damage. What kind of sounds can impact the ears?
- Damaging sounds can take the form of industrial noise, loud music, firearms, vehicles, tools, and explosions.
- Those most at risk include factory workers, musicians, law enforcement, farm equipment users, military veterans, hunters/shooters, mechanics, drivers and power tool users.
What kind of damage results from noise exposure?
- Noise affects hearing by damaging inner ear sensory “hair cells.”
- Damage may be temporary or permanent.
- High frequencies (pitches) are typically affected by noise.
- Common complaints include muffled hearing, poor speech clarity, tinnitus, excessive TV volume, inability to hear certain soft sounds, such as birds outside. Poor tolerance for loud sounds may be an unexpected symptom.
What can be done?
- High quality hearing protection can protect ears effectively most of the time. In the case of permanent loss, open fit hearing instruments can help restore the hearing damaged by sound.
Only a diagnostic evaluation will inform us of the extent and type of damage to the ears. If you suspect damaged hearing, never hesitate to get an examination.