Brookings
Noise Induced Hearing Loss

What is Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)?

  • Hearing loss caused by damage to inner ear hair cells which normally convert sound into electrical signals that travel to the brain. 
  • A potentially permanent hearing loss that affects tens of millions of patients, especially those who are exposed daily to high noise levels.
  • Hearing loss that can be prevented by avoiding continuous exposure to loud sounds and/or protecting your ears from loud sounds.

What causes NIHL?

  • Single exposure to loud “impulse” sound such as firecrackers or firearms. 
  • Frequent and long duration of exposure to loud sounds such as in industry, loud music, power tools, lawn mowers or firearms.

Symptoms:

  • Feelings of pressure or fullness. 
  • Sound seems distorted, muffled or distant. 
  • Ringing sound in the ears, especially in quiet listening environments.

Diagnosis:

  • Talk with your Audiologist about problems you’re experiencing in daily listening environments. 
  • Learn about proper selection of ear protection. 

How can you reduce NIHL?

  • Minimize exposure to loud sounds, such as reducing the volume when listening to television or music .
  • Wear hearing protection when exposed to loud sounds for a long time.


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