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3 Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Treatment Options You Should Know

By Alexa Gozali
Management of noise-induced hearing loss includes behavioral changes to protect hearing and devices that safely help to amplify sound.

While there are many types and causes of hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a common type of hearing loss that occurs due to damage to the structures of the inner ear caused by exposure to loud noises. Nearly 1 in 4 adults aged 20 to 69 have evidence of noise-induced hearing loss, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Some of the common symptoms of NIHL include: 

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Feeling of pressure in the ears
  • Hearing muffled sounds. 

Sounds vibrate the hair cells inside your inner ear. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, loud sounds can damage these hair cells. NIHL can be caused by a one-time exposure to a high frequency sound, such as a loud blast from an explosion, or from repeated exposure to loud sounds over an extended period of time. 

Here are some of the treatment options available for NIHL.

Noise Protection 

Protecting your hearing from repeated exposure to loud noises is the best way to prevent further damage to the inner ear. Elizabeth Gibbs, DO, a board-certified family physician in Long Beach, Calif., tells WebMD Connect to Care that taking steps to protect your ears is the best way to prevent further damage to your inner ears.

Tips for protecting your ears from noise damage include:

  • Wear ear plugs in environments such as loud concerts, construction sites or when you are near loud vehicles
  • Avoid noisy places when possible
  • Keep the volume turned down when watching TV or listening to music

Hearing Aids 

Multiple studies have shown that the use of hearing aids in the hearing impaired provides lifestyle benefits. Conventional hearing aids work by amplifying sound directly to the inner ear to audible but safe levels. 

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) 

These devices are designed to help you hear sounds in everyday environments. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), assistive listening devices can be used to overcome the negative effects of poor acoustics, distance and background noise that may impact hearing. These devices are often available in public spaces, such as places of worship, meeting rooms and auditoriums.

Many ALDs consist of a microphone near the source of the sound and receiver near the listener. The receiver can often be adjusted by the listener. 

Hearing Loss Can Be Treated and Managed.

In many cases, hearing loss is a treatable condition. It is worth taking the time out to get the answers and treatment you or your loved one deserves. Don’t wait. Start today.