What’s That Ringing I Hear?

After a loud concert, you may often experience temporary ringing in your ears. You may not be too concerned by it- most of the time it goes away after a while. But the effects of that hearing damage do not. The ringing may fade away, but failure to use ear protection and being exposed to loud noise will stay with you permanently. Just one concert could result in a lifetime of hearing loss.

What is Tinnitus? Tinnitus, is the ringing and muffled effects you feel after being around a lot of sound. Most of the time it goes away, but the painful ringing can stay with some people for longer. 10 to 15 percent of adults are afflicted by tinnitus. 50 percent of those over 75 years old have hearing loss, mostly caused by aging, but also due to noise exposure. And regarding teens, as so many use headphones and earbuds on a constant basis, almost 20 percent report some sort of hearing loss. Loud music or noise vibrates a person’s eardrums, passing through to the cochlea and damaging it’s hair cells. This is ultimately what causes hearing loss. Sound can also affect pain fibers in the inner ear, causing noise-induced pain for those surrounded by loud noises.

A noise doesn’t have to be loud to be damaging, either. Someone who works at a busy restaurant for a long period of time can be at risk of hearing problems, as well as someone who mows the lawn regularly. Any kind of excessive exposure is a danger to your inner ear, as it increases your sensitivity to noise. You may find it getting harder to understand conversations at a dinner table, or a trip to the grocery store becomes much louder to you than before. In this situation, it is crucial to get your hearing tested as soon as possible. If you believe you’ve been exposed to a lot of noise, or you have regular instances of tinnitus, you may have developed hearing damage, and you should start treating it immediately.

Source: Washingtonpost.com