Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Also known as: NIHL, noise-induced hearing impairment.

What is noise-induced hearing loss?

Noise-induced hearing loss is a type of hearing impairment that is caused by exposure to loud noise. In some cases, a single loud noise exposure can cause noise-induced hearing loss. In other instances, prolonged or multiple exposures to less loud noise can result in noise-induced hearing loss.

What causes noise-induced hearing loss?

The intensity or loudness of a sound is measured in decibels. Sounds that are 85 decibels or higher have the potential to cause noise-induced hearing loss. This can occur from a very loud single exposure, such as a gunshot or explosion, or a continuous exposure from machinery or music concerts.

What are the symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss?

The symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss include hearing loss, difficulty hearing in the presence of background noise, a feeling of ear fullness, and ringing or buzzing (tinnitus).

What are noise-induced hearing loss care options?

The best treatment for noise-induced hearing loss is prevention. Avoiding potentially harmful sounds and protecting the ear with earplugs or over the ear headphones in the presence of loud noise are the mainstays of prevention. If noise-induced hearing loss does occur, hearing aids can help to improve hearing.

Reviewed by: Sandeep P Dave, M.D.

This page was last updated on: October 03, 2019 02:26 PM