Hearing loss is a partial or total inability to hear. Hearing loss may be present at birth or acquired at any time afterwards. Hearing loss may occur in one or both ears.

Loud sound (noise) can damage sensitive parts of the ear, causing hearing loss, ringing or buzzing in the ear (tinnitus), and increased sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis).

Repeated exposure to loud noise over the years affects how well you hear later in life and how quickly you develop hearing problems, even after exposure has stopped.

It’s not just a concern for teenagers, anyone who listens to loud music with headphones or earbuds is at risk for noise-induced hearing loss.

While headphones don’t pose a hearing loss risk themselves, the way they are used can lead to noise-induced hearing loss. Your risk increases as the volume gets louder and the frequency and duration of listening gets longer. Noise-induced hearing loss can be permanent. Teenagers and young adults have the highest risk of impaired development as a result.

Because hearing loss happens gradually, people often don’t realize it’s happening until permanent damage has already occurred. It’s best to recognize the risk factors of hearing loss before permanent damage occurs.

Exposure to loud sounds—at or above 85 decibels—is a leading cause of hearing loss. This can cause permanent damage to the small hair cells inside their ears, which are used to receive different sounds. Once this has taken place, just like with eyesight, a person’s hearing will never return to its original state, requiring lifelong management instead. Noise-induced hearing loss can result from a single episode of very loud noise or from several years of experiencing sounds that are above a safe level.

If you’re concerned about hearing loss, you can try out a few different simple steps to reduce your risk of damage from headphones.

1. Turn down the volume
2. Use noise-canceling headphones
3. Take listening breaks
4. Set a volume limit.

Dr.Banumathy and Ms Ritika

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