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Hearing plays a crucial role in our daily communication, speech and language, and learning ability. Even the slightest hearing loss can affect our responses in terms of comprehension, communication, and social development.

The Singapore Workplace Safety and Health Institute reports that over 1,000 workers were diagnosed with noise-induced deafness in the past five years, accounting for 35% of the confirmed occupational disease cases.

Not only adults but children are also susceptible to noise-induced hearing loss when exposed to loud sounds over an extended period. Fortunately, noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. Continue reading to learn how.

What is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)?

Noise-induced hearing loss is the loss of hearing caused by sudden exposure or prolonged exposure to loud sounds. It can happen when too much noise damages the hair cells in the inner ear. It is one of the most common causes of nerve deafness.

The effects of noise-induced hearing loss can last a lifetime. Hearing aids can help, but they can’t reverse the effects of noise-induced hearing loss. That said, this type of hearing loss is avertible while ensuring that you still get to listen to the world around you, even in a loud concert of your favourite music.

What Causes Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)?

There are two causes of noise-induced hearing loss: sudden exposure to loud noises and exposure to loud noises over an extended period. These loud noises can damage the hair cells in the inner ear and the hearing nerve. The effects may be permanent or temporary.

Some of the common noises that can affect your hearing include:

  • Drilling and construction noises
  • Loud music and gaming sounds through headphones
  • Loud dance music at clubs 
  • Loud music at indoor gym group classes 
  • Loud music at live concerts 
  • Motorcycles and MRT trains
  • Live firing during army training 
  • Lion dance
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Symptoms of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)

You may experience a lingering sound in your ear after being exposed to loud noises. After some time, the symptoms usually go away. But, when you are exposed to loud noises again, it is possible to sustain a permanent hearing loss. To prevent that from happening, here are some early signs to look out for:

  • Having trouble understanding a conversation
  • Needing to turn the volume on the TV higher
  • Having to ask people to repeat what they say
  • Inability to hear high-pitched sounds like bicycle bells, doorbells
  • Having trouble balancing yourself

How to Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)?

While noise-induced hearing loss cannot be medically or surgically corrected, it is preventable. Here are four tips to prevent gradual hearing loss due to loud noises:

Avoid loud noises

You can prevent noise-induced hearing loss by avoiding loud noises, such as turning down the volume of your songs or using power tools with sound controls. Doing so minimises the noise level your ear receives, thus reducing the chances of hearing loss.

Wear earplugs or earmuffs

When you must be around loud noises, either at work, indoor gyms or attending live concerts, wear earplugs or earmuffs to protect your hearing.

Take breaks from loud noises

You will need to take breaks from loud noises to protect your hearing from further damage. This means avoiding or limiting your exposure to deafening sounds by moving away from the source or sound system.

Get your hearing checked regularly

If you think you have hearing loss, it’s best to get your hearing tested by a hearing care professional who can advise you on the best solution for your particular condition.

The Importance of Early Intervention

As noise-induced hearing loss cannot be medically or surgically corrected, it’s crucial that you recognise the signs and prevent the condition from deteriorating because damaged hair cells and nerves cannot repair themselves.

If you are experiencing hearing loss, there are several ways to help you understand better temporarily. This includes finding the best location to enhance your hearing, alerting others of your hearing difficulty, paying attention to the conversation, and using closed captioning.

For a more feasible long-term solution, you can consider using hearing devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants to help you hear better. Consult a hearing care professional like The Hearing Room to learn more about your options.

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Mon-Fri: 10:30am – 6:00pm

Sat: 9:30am – 5:00pm

Appointments are highly encouraged.

Sun & PH: Closed

+65 6904 6077

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enquiry@thehearingroom.com.sg

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By MRT: City Hall Stn Exit B (we are 200m away in the direction of National Gallery)

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