Noise Induced Hearing Loss is the is the second most common cause of hearing loss. Much can be done to prevent noise-induced hearing loss but little can be done to reverse it. Sometimes a single exposure to loud noise is all that is needed, a single hunwork day without ear plugs. Loud noise damages the hair cells in the inner ear and can cause hearing loss, ear ringing and distortion of sounds.
The symptoms of noise induced hearing loss are subtle in the early stages. Hearing loss tends to occur first for high-pitched sounds only. Consequently, the volume of sound heard may be unchanged but the quality of it lessens. Speech may be heard but not completely understood. The presence of background noise can make speech hard to understand. Noise induced hearing loss can be accompanied by a ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Tinnitus can often be more annoying than the hearing loss itself. Treatment of tinnitus is often unsatisfactory.
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