Noise takes a toll

Noise can hurt, and it is one of the biggest culprits in declining hearing. Although hearing loss can have many causes, noise — especially repetitive, loud sounds — can certainly take its toll over time. The increased sound pressure waves push through the ear system, wiping out the tiny hair cells in the inner ear. Although occasionally this damage can occur with a one-time exposure to an intense sound, more commonly it is the result of repeat exposure over long periods of time. Noisy jobs in industries such as construction and emergency services or noisy hobbies, such as hunting and motorcycles, can all play a part.

Protect from further damage

Avoiding damaging levels of sound by wearing hearing protection devices, such as earplugs or earmuffs, can help reduce or negate the impact of loud sound. But once the damage is done, it is not curable; noise-induced hearing loss cannot be reversed. However, you can protect your hearing from further damage. It is important if you think you may have noise-induced hearing loss to have your hearing tested to establish a baseline. Then you can start using hearing protection devices to protect the hearing you have. Your audiologist can help you determine what devices may be best for you.

An assessment is key

Although noise-induced hearing loss is not curable, there are things you can do to overcome the hearing loss. Improving your communication skills or wearing small amplifying devices can help in many situations. The ear is a complicated mechanism, so when damage is done, a thorough assessment is really the only way to decide what course of action would be best.

Celebrate in June

June is a month of graduations, weddings, and family vacations — not to mention the beginning of summer and a time for us to spend time with family and friends. Communication is a top priority. We want to hear those valedictorian speeches, vows, and family jokes. Hearing loss, even when mild, can detract from this. It can cause us to misunderstand or miss conversations entirely. It can be frustrating and isolating. June is the time to make a change. Have your hearing checked and find out from the professionals what, if any, hearing loss you have and what solutions would be right for you.

Hearing aids are now smaller, more comfortable, and more advanced than ever. And although they cannot restore hearing loss to perfect levels, hearing devices can allow for significant improvements.

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