Noise, defined as unwanted or undesirable sound, is part of everyday
life. Exposure to excess noise can cause hearing loss, depending
on the intensity and duration of the exposure. While there are
other causes of hearing loss, such as aging and certain medical
conditions, noise is an important cause of hearing loss. When excess
noise is determined to be the cause of hearing loss, it is called
noise induced hearing loss.
Noise induced hearing loss may occur because of noise exposure
at the workplace or outside the workplace. But this type of hearing
loss frequently occurs because of excess noise in the workplace.
There are many industries in which noise levels exceed the federal
government's exposure guidelines. Excessive noise exposures can
cause a reversible decrease in hearing sensitivity that may last
for several hours or longer. But these exposures may also cause
an irreversible decrease in hearing sensitivity. Noise exposure,
along with certain chemical exposures at the workplace can have
effects on hearing loss.
Many people with noise induced hearing loss complain of gradual
deterioration in hearing. A common complaint is difficulty in comprehending
speech, especially if there is completing background noise. Noise
induced hearing loss is also frequently accompanied by tinnitus
(a ringing sound in the ear).
A through evaluation by a doctor trained to recognize signs of
hearing loss can help determine what effect noise exposure may
have had on your hearing. A physician can also advise you on ways
to decrease your risk of hearing loss, answer other questions you
may have and refer you for additional testing when necessary.
QUESTIONS? Call us toll-free: 1-888-241-1199.