Hello everyone, I am Jayanthi, Audiologist and Speech Therapist
Today we will be talking about Noise-Induced Hearing Loss.
So what is noise-induced hearing loss?
Hearing loss which is occurring due to long term exposure to loud sounds is called noise-induced hearing loss. So this hearing loss is the second most common sensory neural hearing loss next to presbycusis which is an age-related problem.
There are two types of hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds.
1. Temporary Threshold Shift where the impairment is for a temporary time
2. Permanent Threshold Shift where the problem is permanent.
The permanent threshold shift is divided into two types:
So the first one is the Acoustic Trauma so this happens when there is a single episode of loud sounds like a burst of crackers due to which there is a hearing loss.
The second one is a Noise-Induced Hearing Loss so this happens due to the exposure to loud sounds and here we have two types:
One is Sociocusis which is because you get exposed to loud sounds so when you get exposed to loud sounds as in pubs or as in the gyms so this becomes the Sociocusis;
and you have a different type of noise-induced hearing loss this is during the workplace where it is an occupational noise-induced hearing loss.
So when we talk about the exposure to loud sounds. What is the loud sound we talk about?
So anybody getting exposed to 85 dB, 8 hours a day for a few weeks to few months would cause this hearing loss.
The hearing loss is usually progressive from 1 to 5 years and the person with this hearing loss would find
- Difficulty in understanding people in a background noise situation.
- Lack of clarity in people’s speech.
- They will have difficulty in understanding high pitched sounds such as women and children’s voices.
The diagnosis for noise-induced hearing loss usually takes a long time until the patient volunteers himself for the hearing test so when we do the hearing test we usually see a dip at around 4-6 kHz and this is an irreversible loss so the treatment for this type of hearing loss is to use earplugs.
The usage of earplugs; you have standard earplugs and customized earplugs so using these earplugs there is an attenuation of noise from 15-30 dBa and this helps them to lead a better life.
Precautionary steps to be taken care of
- Listen to music at a comfortable level.
- Do not get exposed to loud volume.
- Do not use headphones at a louder volume.
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