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What is noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), and what are treatments and common causes?

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Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) happens when you're exposed to loud noise. The sounds can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss. Common causes are:

  • An exposure to an intense sound, like an explosion
  • Long-term exposure to loud sounds, like in a factory
  • Target shooting/hunting without proper ear protection
  • Listening to loud music, even on headphones

There's no treatment to bring back the hearing that's been lost. To protect what you have, wear earplugs or earmuffs around loud noise.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Ear Wax and Care."

American Hearing Research Foundation: "Ear Wax."

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: "Causes of Hearing Loss in Adults."

American Tinnitus Association: "Causes," "Treatment Options," "Understanding the Facts."

Cleveland Clinic: "Cerumen Impaction."

Mayo Clinic: "Airplane Ear," "Meniere's Disease."

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: "Age-Related Hearing Loss," "Noise-Induced Hearing Loss."

Reviewed by Shelley A. Borgia on September 4, 2020

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Ear Wax and Care."

American Hearing Research Foundation: "Ear Wax."

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: "Causes of Hearing Loss in Adults."

American Tinnitus Association: "Causes," "Treatment Options," "Understanding the Facts."

Cleveland Clinic: "Cerumen Impaction."

Mayo Clinic: "Airplane Ear," "Meniere's Disease."

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: "Age-Related Hearing Loss," "Noise-Induced Hearing Loss."

Reviewed by Shelley A. Borgia on September 4, 2020

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What are the symptoms of Meniere's disease, and what causes it?

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