Why Loud Sounds Can Impair Hearing

Why Loud Sounds Can Impair Hearing

Bumisuka.com – Why Loud Sounds Can Impair Hearing. Some people may unknowingly hear noises or loud noises every day. For example, the sound of a vehicle horn on the road or the sound from an electronic device.

Sound that is at a safe level actually does not interfere with hearing. However, louder sounds can interfere with hearing. Hearing also decreases slowly without realizing it. Why loud noises can interfere with hearing?

1. Hearing loss

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that hearing loss is a decrease in the ability to hear or understand speech and sounds that are around. Hearing loss can affect different parts of the ear or the nerves that send sound information to the brain don’t work properly.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hearing loss caused by loud noises can occur directly, for example due to sudden loud noises. However, hearing loss is more often gradual and often goes unnoticed.

In some cases, hearing loss is temporary. For example, after leaving a very noisy event, it’s usually difficult to hear quiet sounds for a while. Hearing usually returns to normal within a few hours to a few days. However, hearing loss can also be permanent when a vital part of the ear is damaged and cannot be repaired.

2. Repeated loud noises can interfere with hearing

Everyday noises usually do not damage hearing. However, activities that produce loud sounds and are done repeatedly can cause hearing loss.

Sound intensity is measured in decibels (dB). Whisper sound is around 30 dB, while normal conversation sound is around 60 dB. Sound levels below 80 dB do not cause hearing damage.

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WHO recommends keeping audible sound exposure below 70 dB for 24 hours to prevent hearing loss. Sound over 70 dB for a long time can trigger hearing loss. Meanwhile, loud noises of more than 120 dB cause direct damage to the ear.

3. Why does listening to loud sounds interfere with hearing?

Loud noises can damage hair, membranes, nerves, or other parts of the ear. As a result, there is hearing loss that is temporary or permanent.

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders also explains the same thing, that loud noises can damage the tiny hair cells in the cochlea, which is a small organ shaped like a snail in the inner ear. Years of repeated exposure to loud noises can affect your ability to hear.

4. Damage to the hair cells in the ear triggers hearing loss

The average person has about 16,000 hair cells in the cochlea at birth. These hair cells allow the brain to detect sound.

When you hear a loud sound, the hair cells become more bent. Usually, hair cells will straighten again when they recover. However, a sound that is too loud can damage more hair cells, and some of them even die. More frequent exposure to loud noises can also destroy more hair cells.

These conditions gradually reduce the ability to hear. When experiencing hearing loss, many hair cells are damaged and cannot be repaired as before.

5. The louder the sound, the faster the occurrence of hearing loss

Besides being able to damage hair cells, loud noises can also damage the auditory nerve which carries sound-related information to the brain. Loud noises can cause hearing loss quickly or slowly over time.

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Hearing loss due to loud noises can be influenced by various factors, such as sound intensity to the duration of sound exposure. The louder the sound intensity, the faster the hearing loss occurs. In addition, the longer the exposure time to the sound heard, the greater the risk of hearing loss.

Sound that is too loud continuously can interfere with hearing. Hearing loss that occurs can be temporary or permanent. Loud noises can interfere with hearing because loud sounds can damage the tiny hair cells in the ear.

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