Tuesday, November 29, 2022

What Is Noise Induced Hearing Loss

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Noise-induced Hearing Loss

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    What Activities Can Damage Your Hearing

    It is estimated that 24 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 are experiencing hearing loss that is the result of exposure to excessive noise either at work or through recreational activities. High-risk pursuits include:

    • Hunting.
    • Listening to music at high volume through ear buds or headphones.
    • Mowing the lawn.
    • Using a leaf blower.

    Nihl And Vestibular Dysfunction

    There is increasing evidence for noise-induced vestibular deficiency, through a mechanism of noise-induced damage to the sacculocolic reflex pathway and/or damage to the vestibular hair cell cilia . This is supported by multiple studies in human and animals.

    In humans, several studies, with relatively small sample sizes , showed that abnormal cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials and ocular VEMPs are associated with chronic or acute acoustic trauma . This supports the hypothesis that noise causes functional damage to the otolithic organs either directly or indirectly. Also, an association was found between cervical VEMPs and hearing outcome after acute acoustic trauma, therefore it was concluded that abnormal VEMPs might indicate more severe trauma and as a result poorer hearing recovery .

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    Screening For Hearing Impairment

    The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends periodic screening of older adults for hearing impairment.17 Other authorities have advocated similar screening for all patients who report significant noise exposure.17 The clinician can ask patients if they have difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, if they need to turn up the television volume or if they frequently have to ask people to repeat sentences. Standardized questionnaires for hearing handicap are available .18,19 Some patients may be reluctant to admit hearing loss, and family members may be the first to report a problem.

    The Hearing Handicap Inventory for the ElderlyScreening Version

    FIGURE 3.

    The screening version of the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly.

    The Hearing Handicap Inventory for the ElderlyScreening Version

    FIGURE 3.

    The screening version of the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly.

    FIGURE 5.

    FIGURE 5.

    Audiometry is necessary to confirm a hearing deficit because physical tests of hearing, such as the whispered voice and the finger-rub test, are not as reliable.20 Office audiometry is sufficiently sensitive and specific to serve as a screening method.21 Screening audiometers for office use generally test at several frequencies in the speech range between 500 and 4,000 Hz. Audiometers must be calibrated regularly and used in a quiet room. An audiogram hearing threshold level above 20 dB is considered abnormal.

    What Can I Do To Prevent Noise

    Noise
    • You can make hearing health a part of your lifestyle. Stay away from loud or prolonged noises when you can. Turn down the music volume. Buy power tools that have sound controls.

    • When you must be around noise, either at work or at play, use something to protect your hearing.

    • Hearing protection devices, like earplugs, earmuffs and canal caps, are sold in drugstores and hardware stores. Different brands offer different amounts of protection. If you are not sure which kind is best for you, or how to use it correctly, ask your doctor. Often the best kind is the one that you feel comfortable in so you can wear it when you need it.

    • Keep your hearing protectors handy and in good condition.

    • Teach your family how important it is to stay away from too much noise and to use hearing protection.

    • If you think you have a hearing loss , it is important to have your hearing tested.

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    How To Prevent Hearing Loss

    Noise induced hearing loss is 100 percent preventable.

    An awareness of activities that can cause hearing damage is key. When exposed to loud noise, be sure to wear earplugs or other protective devices. We carry custom earplugs designed for specific activities such as hunting and listening to live music. Keep the volume at a reasonable while level listening to music through headphones.

    Regular hearing tests can help identify problems early, reducing your risk of developing long-term damage.

    Call LeMay Hearing & Balance at for more information or to schedule an appointment.

    Signs That Noise Is Too Loud

    You probably don’t always carry a sound level meter with you. So how can you know if noises are too loud? Here are some signs:

    • You must raise your voice to be heard.
    • You can’t hear or understand someone 3 feet away from you.
    • Speech around you sounds muffled or dull after you leave the noisy area.
    • You have pain or ringing in your ears after you hear the noise, called tinnitus. It can last for a few minutes or a few days.

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    Social And Cultural Aspects

    People with extreme hearing loss may communicate through sign languages. Sign languages convey meaning through manual communication and body language instead of acoustically conveyed sound patterns. This involves the simultaneous combination of hand shapes, orientation and movement of the hands, arms or body, and facial expressions to express a speaker’s thoughts. “Sign languages are based on the idea that vision is the most useful tool a deaf person has to communicate and receive information”.

    What Are The Statistics On Nihl

    Avoid a noise-induced hearing loss

    People can develop NIHL at any age. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control a decade ago indicated that approximately six percent of the adult population in the United States has some degree of NIHL. All study participants were under the age of 70.

    The study also suggested that 17 percent of people between age 12 and 19 have NIHL due to ongoing exposure to loud noise. Young adults have a higher risk of developing NIHL due to listening to loud music through headphones or earbuds and attending live concerts more than older people do.

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    Antioxidants To Reduce Oxidative Stress

    Antioxidants may be a safer alternative to steroids given a more favourable side effect profile. Free oxygen radicals and oxidative stress are important in the pathogenesis of the NIHL, and therefore antioxidants could theoretically constitute an effective treatment.

    N-acetylcysteine has been reported to reduce the ototoxic effects of noise exposure in animal models . In humans, however, the data is limited . Doosti et al. evaluated TTS in 48 textile workers and showed that daily oral administration of NAC during continuous noise exposure prevented the occurrence of a TTS after 14 days of treatment, whereas the untreated group showed a TTS of approximately 1.53 dB . Lin et al. also found a significant improvement in TTS after NAC . However, the mean difference in TTS in the placebo-treated group versus NAC-treated group was only 0.3 dB . Kramer et al. did not find a significant protective effect of NAC when using a single lower dose administered before noise exposure . A more recent randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial among a larger military group , found a 67% reduction in hearing threshold shift rate, with a total daily dose of 2700 mg of NAC after noise exposure for 16 days during weapon training, but this was only statistically significant when handedness was taken into account . In summary, there is potentially a small benefit of NAC in reducing the rate of threshold shift in a noise-exposed population .

    Evidence For Asymmetric Nihl

    A recent systematic review concluded that the evidence for asymmetrical noise-induced trauma was limited, however only studies that reported an asymmetry of more than 15 dB were included . In the general population, the incidence of interaural threshold difference of 15 dB or more is only 1% , whereas the incidence of asymmetrical hearing loss in noise-exposed individuals varies widely between 4.7 and 36% . Asymmetries between left and right hearing thresholds are typically small with a trend toward increasing asymmetry among higher frequencies or with increasing levels of hearing loss . There is a margin of error for audiometric testing of±9.6-14.2 dB for single frequencies, with the largest range reported at 4 kH , which needs to be considered when documenting asymmetric hearing loss. Furthermore, these small differences are based on mean hearing thresholds of group data, which probably underestimates the asymmetric effect of noise exposure at the individual level.

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    Book A Free Test For Noise

    Book a free hearing test to find out whether you have noise-induced or any other type of hearing loss. We can help you better understand your condition and your treatment options.

    How to prevent hearing lossThe types of hearing protection available on the market include the following:

    • Foam ear plugs Foam ear plugs are the cheapest form of hearing protection available. They’re most commonly used by those in the construction industry.
    • Rubber plugs – These are similar to the foam plugs, but they’re more rigid, meaning they may not be suitable for all ear canal shapes.
    • Banded ear defenders These are made up of two headphones connected by a headband. They look similar to noise-cancelling headphones and are commonly used for loud recreational sounds.
    • Custom ear moulds These are generally made from a silicone material, and they are personalised to fit the exact shape of the user’s ear.

    Temporary And Permanent Hearing Changes

    PPT
    • PTS is a permanent change of the hearing threshold following an event, which will never recover. PTS is measured in decibels.
    • TTS is a temporary change of the hearing threshold the hearing loss that will be recovered after a few hours to couple of days. Also called auditory fatigue. TTS is also measured in decibels.

    In addition to hearing loss, other external symptoms of an acoustic trauma can be:

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    What Is Noise Induced Hearing Loss

    Chuck Leider

    Its perfectly natural to hear all manner of sounds in your normal living environment each and every day. For example, you hear sounds from the radio, television, conversations, and traffic during the day and night. Whats not natural is when these sounds are too loud. Even if only heard for a brief time, loud noises can damage delicate components in your ears and can be the cause of noise-induced hearing loss . Below, we look at NIHL, its causes, effects, and at what you can do if you think youve been affected.

    What Are The Effects And Signs Of Nihl

    When you are exposed to loud noise over a long period of time, you may slowly start to lose your hearing. 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. Over time, sounds may become distorted or muffled, and you might find it difficult to understand other people when they talk or have to turn up the volume on the television. The damage from NIHL, combined with aging, can lead to hearing loss severe enough that you need hearing aids to magnify the sounds around you to help you hear, communicate, and participate more fully in daily activities.

    NIHL can also be caused by extremely loud bursts of sound, such as gunshots or explosions, which can rupture the eardrum or damage the bones in the middle ear. This kind of NIHL can be immediate and permanent.

    Loud noise exposure can also cause tinnitusa ringing, buzzing, or roaring in the ears or head. Tinnitus may subside over time, but can sometimes continue constantly or occasionally throughout a persons life. Hearing loss and tinnitus can occur in one or both ears.

    Sometimes exposure to impulse or continuous loud noise causes a temporary hearing loss that disappears 16 to 48 hours later. Recent research suggests, however, that although the loss of hearing seems to disappear, there may be residual long-term damage to your hearing.

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    How Do I Know If Noise Could Be Hurting My Ears

    You may be exposed, at work or through hobbies, to noise that hurts your hearing. If you have to shout when you talk to a coworker who is standing next to you, the noise level at your workplace may be hurting your ears.

    Both the loudness of sound and the amount of time you hear the noise are important. Sound is measured in decibels. Eight hours of hearing noise at 85 decibels could hurt your hearing. At higher sound levels, you could lose hearing in even less time.

    Workplaces where sound levels are an average of 85 decibels or higher average for more than eight hours must have programs to save the hearing of workers. These workplaces must give free hearing protection devices to workers.

    Common Noises That Might Hurt Your Ears Include:

    Firearms

    90 decibels

    What Hearing Remains Needs To Be Safeguarded

    Noise Induced Hearing Loss

    Noise induced hearing loss cant be healed but if you take specific steps to safeguard your ears, the hearing you have left can be preserved into the future. Some things you can do include:

    • If you work in an industry that has consistently loud noise, use the recommended hearing protection
    • Get tested regularly
    • Stay away from areas that continuously have loud noises
    • Treat any hearing loss you have with hearing aids
    • Minimize your exposure to exceedingly noisy activities at home

    Lowering the volume on your devices, wearing ear protection, and staying away from overly loud noise is the best way to safeguard your hearing. Schedule a hearing test if you have been exposed to loud noise.

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    What You Need To Know About Noise

    Noise-induced hearing loss and permanent hearing loss are more common injuries in military veterans and soldiers than even PTSD. Because of long periods of unavoidable loud noise exposure in a combat environment, its fairly common to end up with this type of hearing loss, especially without hearing protection.

    Our mission is to learn all about noise-induced hearing loss and the ramifications on vets and soldiers. We want to help you and all the other vets that served, been exposed to loud sounds, and used 3M ear plugs and still ended up with hearing loss.

    Were going to learn all about noise exposure in this article, from what can cause it, to the treatments choices you have today.

    Addressing The Problem With Research

    There is presently no cure for this condition. However, scientists are looking for ways to restore noise-related hearing loss. For instance, some research is in clinical trials presently that are evaluating whether a drug can restore the growth of the tiny hairs in the ear. If scientists were capable of getting this drug to work, these hairs would be able to regenerate and we might be able to overcome noise and age induced hearing loss.

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    How Do Doctors Diagnose It

    Hearing loss can be difficult to diagnose in infants and babies because they havent yet developed communication skills. All babies are screened before they leave the hospital to see if they have hearing loss. Sometimes parents may begin to notice that the baby doesnt respond to loud noises or to the sound of voices, or has a delay in speech.

    Certain symptoms in teens should prompt a trip to the doctor. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, you should let your parents or doctor know if:

    • You feel that people mumble or that their speech is not clear, or you hear only parts of conversations when people are talking.
    • You often ask people to repeat what they said.
    • Friends or family tell you that you dont seem to hear very well.
    • You dont laugh at jokes because you miss too much of the story.
    • You need to ask others about the details of a class or meeting you attended.
    • People say that you play music or your TV too loudly.
    • You cant hear the doorbell or telephone.

    The doctor will do an ear exam and, if necessary, refer someone with these symptoms to an audiologist, a health professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating hearing problems. The audiologist will do various hearing tests that can help detect where the problem might be.

    A person may also need to see an otolaryngologist , a doctor who specializes in ear, nose, and throat problems.

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    How Diagnosis Of Noise

    Noise

    In order to get diagnosed with noise-induced hearing loss, you will need to go to your physician. Your physician may refer you to a specialist, such as an audiologist.

    Your physician will first give you a physical exam to rule out any physical causes of your hearing loss. This may include x-rays to rule out any growths or tumors in your ears.

    Once a physical cause is ruled out, you may be given different hearing tests to determine what might be causing your hearing loss.

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    Bc Specific Information Message

    Hearing loss is the reduced ability to hear sounds. It can occur at any age and can be a gradual or sudden loss. Hearing loss can have many causes. The part of the ear involved determines the type of hearing loss. Depending on the cause, hearing loss can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. For more information on hearing loss, see HealthLinkBC File #71a Hearing Loss in Children, and HealthLinkBC File #71c Hearing Loss in Adults. For more information on hearing tests for infants and children, see HealthLinkBC File #71b Hearing Tests for Infants and Children.

    If you or your child is experiencing hearing loss symptoms or have questions about hearing loss, you can call 8-1-1 to speak with a registered nurse for advice anytime of the day or night, any day of the year.

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