What Causes Noise Induced Hearing Loss?
Noise Induced Hearing Loss is caused by damage to the hair cells of the hearing organ (cochlea) caused by exposure to higher than normal levels of noise. This occurs due to force of impact on the hair cells when the noise occurs, which may cause temporary or permanent damage. Noise-induced hearing loss is the second most common form of hearing loss, after Presbyacusis or age related loss.
Typically noise induced hearing loss occurs in both ears, between 3,000 and 6,000 Hertz (Hz) and develops gradually over time. All sounds entering the cochlea do so at the basal end and travel towards the apical end, therefore the hair cells at the basal end are subjected to more wear resulting in them degenerating at a quicker rate.
The extent of the damage and speed of onset of the hearing loss caused by noise is dependent on a number of factors including; length of exposure, loudness and proximity to sound and whether or not any form of hearing protection is worn.