This modern world of ours has certainly turned into a noisy place. Namely, today, we have noise everywhere. From car alarms and cars themselves filling the streets with different sounds, over leaf blowers and other household machinery humming, buzzing, clapping and working loudly day after day, to traffic, construction works and other sources of noise, we are surrounded by a cacophony of countless mechanical instruments. Some people would think that this is solely the case with big cities. However, nowadays, noise has taken over farms too, due to the presence of loud machinery and many other such devices.
Humans, Noise, Deafness
Different types of noise and sounds can equally damage one's hearing. For example, your ears may sustain the same amount of damage after you have enjoyed a concert and after you have spent an hour close to a construction worker handling a jackhammer. Basically, every sound, regardless of where it comes from, if it contains the sufficient amount of intensity, appearing repeatedly and continuously, can easily lead to hearing damage, ringing in the ears, partial or complete hearing loss, dizziness and numerous other health problems.
Today, more than 10 million Americans suffer from hearing loss or damaged hearing triggered by excessive exposure to noise. Therefore, noise is considered to be the main culprit behind both temporary and permanent hearing impairment.
Acoustic Trauma and Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Acoustic trauma is a condition which manifests once a great amount of sound energy strikes the inner ear of a human being, such as when one goes to a loud music concert. After the concert, he/she may hear ringing in the ears for several hours or may be bothered by a temporary decrease of his/her hearing function. If the symptoms linger for a couple of days, the sufferer may have oral steroids prescribed in order to stimulate the regeneration of the inner ear. Unfortunately, if the medications fail to help, hearing loss may be permanent and the noise threshold of the ear shifted beyond repair.
Moreover, if the sound is excessively loud and sudden, it may lead to hearing loss or even a ruptured eardrum. Hearing loss in this case may take place hand-in-hand with dizziness. Then, a surgical intervention may be a must.
Risk Factors regarding Hearing Loss
Certain factors such as duration of exposure and closeness of the sound source may amplify the amount of damage done. Namely, since portable MP3 players have taken the world by storm, there has been a significant increase in hearing impairment due to the proximity of the earphones to the eardrum.
Also, shooting guns without protecting your ears may have the same effect. Finally, people with blue eyes, light skin, history of hearing loss in the family, diabetes mellitus, Meniere's disease, iron and vitamin A deficiency, old age, atherosclerosis and a tobacco smoking addiction are all in danger of losing this sense more easily than other people.