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Noise induced deafness

Too much noise can make people deaf. If you think this is a joke, ask the estimated 10 million Americans who have had this hearing problem.

This deafness problem they have is known as noise-induced hearing loss. This happens when too much noise hurts the hair cells in the inner ear and can lead to permanent damage. If this happens, you will have to use a hearing aid because there is no way to correct the problem.

You will know you are starting to have this hearing problem when you have a hard time hearing what someone is saying. You may have to move closer to that person and even tell them to repeat what they just said.

Two factors that contribute to deafness problems are time and intensity. Time is the duration of your exposure to it, and intensity is measured in decibels.

Almost everyone works a 9 to 5 job or something similar, which equates to 8 hours. If you happen to work in an environment where the noise level is 85 decibels or even higher, it’s only a matter of time before you may lose your hearing.

You don’t just become deaf from working in a noisy environment. Studies have shown that it can also happen if you are exposed to guns, loud explosions, certain hardware devices, frequenting rock concerts, using MP3 players, watching TV or listening to the radio, riding motorcycles or snowmobiles, farm machinery and selected children’s toys.

The amazing thing about this deafness problem is that you don’t feel any pain. You will only notice a “ringing” in your ears when you go to a place where there is not as much noise and it may be difficult to hear people talking. This does go away after a few hours or days, but if it happens often enough, this will become permanent.

In addition to something repeating, some early signs of noise-induced hearing loss include the need to turn the volume up and the inability to hear high-pitched sounds. If you think you have this problem, it is best to have your ears examined by a trained professional.

Can this deafness problem be prevented? The answer is yes, and this can be accomplished by using the proper safety equipment. Examples of this include ear canal caps, ear plugs and ear muffs. You can buy these at a drugstore or hardware store.

You should make sure to keep these clean and in good condition at all times. If it is not as effective as it used to be, make sure to replace it.

Now that you know there is such a thing called noise-induced hearing loss, you should take the necessary precautions so that you do not lose your hearing. If you don’t need to buy ear protection, don’t stay too long in places with loud noises.

As an extra precaution, have yourself checked by a qualified audiologist every year, especially if you have a job that puts you at high risk for hearing loss. These jobs include construction, farming, firefighting, law enforcement and music. Your employer should provide free hearing protection, but if they don’t, you should get the protection you need to avoid becoming deaf.