Preventing Noise Induced Hearing Loss – Effective Strategies

Preventing Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Sounds are all around us. From the moment our consciousness kicks in, we are surrounded by incessant cacophony.

The modern world is full of pollution; one of the most common types we are exposed to is noise pollution. This continuous drone of noise has now led us to crave silence.

Technological advancements aimed at creating noise-canceling gadgets and silent spaces are gaining much importance among people. The price for silence is relatively high these days.

What Is Noise?

The word noise takes on different definitions and interpretations depending on the context in which it is used.

It is generally understood as any loud or unpleasant sound causing a disturbance and gradually impacting health.

Types Of Noise

The range of human hearing is called the audible spectrum, ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

While frequency is measured in Hertz, the measurement of sound is called decibels.  Noise pollution refers to sounds above 65 decibels. 

Types Of Noise

Noise can be categorized into continuous, intermittent, impulsive, and low-frequency. The incessant noise is a constant and steady humdrum.

It may be sounds from ventilators, factory equipment, or engine noise. Intermittent noises are fluctuating noises such as trains, aircraft, sirens, traffic, etc.

Impulsive noises are infrequent loud noises such as that heard in construction. And lastly, low-frequency sounds are parts of our daily life, such as music, conversations, etc.  

Impact Of Noise

Some of the most common problems caused due to noise are:

  • Physical repercussions – Cochlear pain, hearing loss, headache, respiratory issues, hypertension, high pulse, and heart attack.
  • Psychological repercussions – Stress, fatigue, depression, anxiety, hysteria, sleep disorders, and memory problems.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

NIHL is caused due to prolonged exposure to loud noise. Sometimes even a single event of loud noise can contribute to hearing loss.

The most common cause of hearing loss is caused by everyday activities such as the constant use of headphones, sounds from automotive, construction, power tools, sirens, etc.

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While sounds up to 60dB do not cause hearing loss, above 65dB, and especially sounds above 70dB, lead to irreversible hearing loss.

Nevertheless, prolonged overexposure to soft sounds can cause pain and hearing loss.      

How To Prevent NIHL?

  • Creating awareness
  • Policy measures to correct noise pollution
  • Avoid noisy situations
  • Turn down the volume if unnecessary
  • Use hearing protection
  • Take breaks from loud noise
  • Use silencing equipment on power tools
  • Limit prolonged exposure to sounds


  1. Can the use of headphones cause hearing loss?

Prolonged exposure to sounds, even soft noises, can cause hearing loss in the long run. Constant use of headphones not only causes ear pain and hearing loss but unhygienic use of the same also leads to ear infections.

  1. Can we detect hearing loss?

If you have difficulty hearing and comprehending normal sounds, chances are that you are experiencing hearing loss. This can be confirmed through an audiometric test.

  1. Are there any exercises to improve hearing?

Meditation, sound therapy, bathroom singing, vocal lessons, and audio rehabilitation have gained much popularity as exercises that help to improve hearing. Protecting the ears, avoiding loud noises, and prolonged exposure can also help prevent hearing loss.

  1. How can we follow better auditory practices in everyday life?

Taking breaks from prolonged noise exposure, turning down the volume where unnecessary, using silencing equipment, and keeping away from loud noises are ways to prevent hearing loss in real life.

  1. Is noise-induced hearing loss reversible?

NIHL cannot be cured but can be managed with good auditory practices. It is best to prevent NIHL rather than wait for it to worsen.

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