Noise pollution is a very real problem, says the EPA, yet few people take the risks of hearing loss seriously.

We are still in the Dark Ages when it comes to understanding the risks of noise pollution for hearing loss and also its effects on general health.

Humans did not evolve in a loud, noisy environment.

The nerve cells in our ears are fragile and cannot be regenerated once they’re destroyed by the onslaught of loud sounds.

NIHL: Noise Induced Hearing Loss. What Makes You Think You’re Immune?

“The most common causes of NIHL are sudden, loud bursts of sound (like a gunshot or a car accident) and prolonged exposure to loud noise (like loud music or power tools as well as music),” says Rivka Strom, AuD, CCC-A, Director of Audiology, Advanced Hearing NY Inc.

“NIHL can be caused by a one time exposure to an intense impulse sound or from continuous exposure to loud sounds,” continues Strom.

“Recreational activities and occupational activities can include target shooting, lawn mowing, and listening to very loud music, especially through earbuds.

“In general, listening to any noise at an unsafe level for an extended period of time is damaging.

“The higher the level of noise and the longer individuals are exposed to it, the greater the risk of suffering harm from it.”

“Guidelines were established by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) regarding exposure levels to loud noise and this includes any noise.”

To learn more about this growing problem in America, visit the articles below:

People will wear sunscreen at outdoor sporting events like football and baseball games, and auto racing, but won’t wear hearing protection.

They don’t want sun-induced skin cancer or wrinkles, but what about noise induced hearing loss from the roaring of fans or the sounds of engines?

Why you should wear earplugs at sporting events

Old people actually can have good hearing. They did not win a genetic lottery as much as they’ve simply not had years and years of exposure to loud noise.

Learn why elderly people can have good hearing

Custom made ear plugs are virtually invisible. If teens want to preserver their naturally good hearing, they need to use ear plugs at concerts.

Why teens must have hearing protection at concerts

Do your children scream a lot? Have you ever considered what this is doing to your ears?

Remember, hearing loss tends to creep up on people with the stealth of a panther. You don’t feel it creeping up on you.

Hearing loss does not cause symptoms that get your attention like lumps, swelling, rashes, bleeding, pus, headaches, cough or diarrhea.

That’s why so many people deny they have hearing loss going on. Got screaming kids? It’s never too late to end this problem.

Can being around screaming kids cause hearing loss?

Hearing loss is one of the most preventable medical conditions. What are you doing to help prevent this costly, social-isolating problem that mimics memory loss in older people?

Dr. Strom is a member of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association and has received several awards including Brooklyn College’s Excellence In Audiology Award.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 




Top image: Shutterstock/Yeexin Richelle