Throughout our lives our ears are constantly listening to the sounds around us. Sometimes the sounds we experience can be loud enough to cause damage that can be temporary or permanent. This exposure to high levels of noise may come from occupational noise exposure, such as machinery, weapons or explosives or through recreational activities such as listening to music, concerts or motorcycling.
It is important to identify which noise can pose a risk to hearing and how to reduce the risks. When the hair cells are damaged by noise this is termed noise-induced hearing loss. This can be temporary and recover within a few days or permanent resulting in hearing loss.
On occasions some level of noise exposure can be so excessive that it results in permanent or temporary damage to the hearing organ. There are treatments available that can help in the recovery of hearing loss resulting from significant noise exposure; however it is important that treatment is sought as soon as possible following the injury to enable treatment success.
For more information, please see the AAT pathway and Noise and the Ear.