April 28, 2014
Hearing Loss Explained by Our ENT Doctor
As your Hagerstown ENT doctor, Dr. Kirby Scott works to help you understand hearing loss and how to protect yourself. Hearing loss typically occurs gradually, while many people do not recognize early signs. In many cases, your friends, family and co-workers might notice the problem before you initially do.
It is important to address potential hearing loss as early as possible for the best treatment options. Not only will early treatment enhance your quality of life, but it also broadens the scope of treatment options available. While you can’t reverse hearing loss, you also do not have to live in a world of quieter, less distinct sounds. Let’s take a look at hearing loss caused by noise.
Hearing Loss Caused by Noise
Loud noise can be very damaging to your ears—both the level of noise and the length of time you listen to that noise. Noise levels are measured in decibels, or dB for short, and the higher the decibel level, the louder the noise is. If a sound is louder than 85 dB, it can cause permanent hearing loss. Your hearing system can be injured not only by a loud blast or explosion, but also by prolonged exposure to high noise levels. You can tell that you are listening to dangerous noise levels if:
- You must raise your voice to be heard
- You can’t hear someone 3 feet away from you
- Speech around you sounds muffled or dull after you leave the noisy area
- You have pain or ringing in your ears after exposure to noise
Noise induced hearing loss is usually permanent and progresses with each exposure. If you are exposed to loud noises, it is important to wear proper ear protection in order to prevent hearing loss.
Talk to Dr. Kirby Scott, our Hagerstown ENT doctor, if you are having difficulty hearing. By seeking treatment, you can dramatically improve the quality of your life and your loved ones. People who use hearing aids report greater self-confidence, closer relationships with loved ones and an improved outlook on life.