Hearing loss is a significant problem in the United States today. Our ears are constantly exposed to unsafe levels of loud noises each day, which can result in permanent hearing damage.
Hearing damage that is caused by noise is known as Noise Induced Hearing Loss (or NIHL), and it can take years to develop. In some cases, NIHL can be temporary while in other, more severe cases, it can be permanent. NIHL varies in its degree of severity and can even affect each individual ear at a different level.
Generally speaking, hearing loss that occurs due to noise is gradual in nature, and rarely results in sudden hearing loss, unless it is an immensely unsafe level of noise that causes physical damage to the inner ear, such as during a loud explosion.
Due to its gradual nature, NIHL is often completely neglected until it is severe. Most people are in denial of their initial signs of hearing loss, and tend to pretend that they can hear and compensate for their inability to hear by coming up with excuses such as “I’m just tired” or “that person was mumbling.” In reality, hearing loss is best treated at its early stages.
The problem with procrastinating treatment for hearing loss is that it doesn’t just go away. In fact, with time, your hearing loss can intensify and cause other health problems as well, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even dementia! Not to mention the negative social impact that hearing loss can have on your personal and professional relationships. All of this can be avoided by simply paying a visit to an audiologist when you first notice any symptoms of hearing loss.
The best part about NIHL is that it is mostly preventable. This means that you can actually take steps to protect yourself from hearing damage due to loud noises. You can do this by becoming more aware of hearing loss and engaging in auditory protection (such as using noise-cancelling headphones, earplugs or earmuffs) before exposing yourself to loud noises.
When you notice the first symptoms of hearing loss, make sure to take your hearing health into your own hands. Early treatment provides the most promising results when it comes to hearing loss. Nowadays, hearing aids come with several attractive features that help you not only to hear better but also to stay connected with the world around you through Bluetooth and GPS.
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