Does hearing continue to deteriorate after exposure to noise stops?

Posted by aba @aba, Nov 6, 2021

please try to help
When hearing impaired (especially at a young age), whether it is from loud music or being in a noisy environment (a soldier in NOISY AREA for years)

Does the hearing continue to deteriorate even after you stop being in a noisy environment? Or if noise stops also stops a continuous decrease Is there a difference, regarding the continued deterioration in hearing, between acoustic damage resulting from a sudden noise (explosion for example) and which has not disappeared,

And permanent acoustic sabotage after several years of exposure to noise and the hearing deterioration continues though slowly?

M PELEG

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Hearing Loss group.

@aba

do you have theoretical papers that even when the noise stops hearing loss gets damaged more and more?

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No. I’m just saying that the damage to the cochlea is done by the noise and the auditory processing system downstream from the ear is a different and ever changing system which affects what is “heard” as well

Sent from my iPhone

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@aba

do you have theoretical papers that even when the noise stops hearing loss gets damaged more and more?

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I guess the shot answer is YES, it can.

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@arrowshooter

I guess the shot answer is YES, it can.

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the main problem is that doctors do not think so. many of them say that when the noise stops – hearing loss also stops. I think that if a young man suffers a long time from the noise of shooting (army) – his hearing loss proceeds down for years, maybe slowly but consistently down. I look for academic research on this subject.thanks for any help

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@loribmt

Hi @aba You brought up some interesting questions about hearing loss. From what I’m reading, hearing loss does not progress once the noise level has been reduced.

I found some informational articles that might shed some light on the differences between acoustical damage and other factors which can result in hearing impairment.

The following is an excerpt from an article provided by the Workman’s Compensation Board of Alberta Canada. I’ve posted a link to that site below.
“ Hearing loss does not continue to deteriorate after noise exposure is removed. Hearing loss that occurs after the noise exposure is removed is related to other factors”
https://www.wcb.ab.ca/assets/pdfs/providers/HCP_Hearing_loss.pdf
https://www.earq.com/hearing-health/articles/guide-to-noise-induced-hearing-loss
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hearing-loss/symptoms-causes/syc-20373072
Hopefully fellow mentor, @julie04, will be able to provide you with more comprehensive information. She is very active in our Hearing Loss group and offers peer support with The Hearing Loss Association of America, (HLAA)

Are you suffering from hearing loss?

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also found on google- " Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) develops slowly after many years of exposure. Susceptibility varies quite widely, but 10 Years or more of exposure is generally required for significant hearing loss"
to occur.13 july 2020

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Acceleration of Age-Related Hearing Loss by Early Noise
Exposure: Evidence of a Misspent Youth- WHO WILL READ AND ANSWER MAIM QUESTION? NIHL. This observation suggests that ears with noise damage age
differently from those without.

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@aba

Acceleration of Age-Related Hearing Loss by Early Noise
Exposure: Evidence of a Misspent Youth- WHO WILL READ AND ANSWER MAIM QUESTION? NIHL. This observation suggests that ears with noise damage age
differently from those without.

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This topic is of interest to many. It's important to understand that hearing loss is unique from on person to another, but with some commonalities.

From what I've learned, hearing loss has a lot to do with a predisposed tendency that is likely hereditary. Some people will lose hearing due to noise, while some will not, even when exposed to the same noise for the same length of time. Once you've learned that noise is a likely factor in hearing loss, it makes sense to avoid it as much as possible. We live in a noisy world, so that isn't always as easy as it sounds.

Noise damage relates to both intensity and duration. One can be partially deafened in an instant if exposed to an extremely loud noise all of a sudden. (Think explosives.) Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) is not as common as that which occurs over time. Duration may be the culprit if a person has worked in a noisy environment over many years. Both causes affect the hair cells in the cochlea. When those tiny cells are damaged or destroyed one cannot hear specific pitches; most often the high tones but that can vary too.

Most sensorineural hearing loss, whether it's caused by noise or not, tends to be progressive. This is why it's so important to protect your hearing as much as possible. Use ear plugs when you know you'll be exposed to noise. Concerts, hunting, industrial noise, working with power tools, mowing the lawn, etc. Prevention is important.

Know, also that there are specific types of ear plugs and ear muffs that are more effective than others. Also, there are musician's ear plugs that do not block the pitch and sound of music, but limit its intensity.

I worked with a young musician who performed in a rock band. This happened to be my granddaughter. She was a vocalist in a garage band that won state recognition. When she got involved in this, I had 'the talk' with her about noise induced hearing loss and the value of using musician's ear plugs. Of course there was some resistance, but 'the talk' also involved sharing information about my hearing loss and how it affects my quality of life. Reluctantly, she agreed to using audiologist fit musician's ear plugs. ($200/pair). Her first reaction was "This is amazing, I can hear myself singing with these on". She became an educator and encouraged other members of the band to follow suit. I'm thankful she listened, learned and felt what she learned was worth sharing.

So, I share that with you. Bottom line: If you have noise induced hearing loss, protect what's left of your hearing. Do not assume it will not get worse if you eliminate noise from your life. To do that you'd have to become a recluse.

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good thinking but this answer is not an answer to my question….do hearing loss goes more and more down, or stops after going out from a noise environment. i need academic papers for an answer

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@julieo4

It may be interesting for you to know that prior to 1988 very little research was being done on hearing loss. That was the year that the NIDCD (National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders) was established within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Most of the other institutes within NIH had been established many decades prior.

I mention this because so much of the research in this area is relatively new. Prior to the establishment of NIDCD, most research was done on total deafness, Deaf culture, manual communication as a resolution, etc.

The huge majority of the population with hearing loss is hard of hearing; not deaf. Further, the majority of those with profound hearing loss are people who remain in the hearing world with technology…or are people who struggle with adult onset hearing loss and don't know where or how to get help. They are not manual communicators, although a few may learn to use sign language. It is extremely difficult for a person who becomes 'hearing impaired' after the onset of language to become a part of the Deaf community. It has taken a long time to separate these 2 very different populations and a lot of confusion remains about what can be done to help the hard of hearing population regardless of degree of loss.

Years ago I was privileged to participate in a program presented by the person who was then, head of NIDCD. The discussion was about noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), it's cause, it's potential for cure, and its incidence. The theory then was that about half of the population had a predisposition to noise induced hearing loss. The other half did not. If that holds, we know that some people are not affected by extreme noise, while others are. Obviously, there is likely a genetic predisposition as well. In all cases, those with NIHL were warned that it was not curable, and to protect what hearing they had by avoiding extreme noise.

At that time, the late 80s; early 90s, cochlear implants were still considered experimental. Those who had received them were test subjects. The implants, then, were single channel devices that brought back sound to recipients, but little speech clarity. Thanks to more research being done, the attitude that NIHL cannot be cured or helped has changed. Cure, no, but help, yes. Cochlear implants today have brought sound and speech back to the majority of CI recipients, most of whom have NIHL or sensorineural hearing loss. They now have 24 channels, and can be mapped to an individual's needs. They are not 'cures', but are definitely a technology that can keep a person with profound hearing loss in the hearing mainstream.

So, final statement: PROTECT YOUR HEARING. Avoid extreme noise. Insist on appropriate ear protection if your work environment is noisy. Invest in ear plugs if you attend loud concerts, and turn down the sound when you can.

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good words but no answer…Damage can occur with long-term exposure to loud noises. THAN IT progresses SLOWLY BUT GETTING MORE AND MORE LOSS HEARING. I AM LOOKING FOR THIS POINT IF ANY RESEARCH WAS DONE ABOUT IT.

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@aba

good words but no answer…Damage can occur with long-term exposure to loud noises. THAN IT progresses SLOWLY BUT GETTING MORE AND MORE LOSS HEARING. I AM LOOKING FOR THIS POINT IF ANY RESEARCH WAS DONE ABOUT IT.

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Check the website of the Hearing Health Foundation. http://www.hhf.org

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