Hearing loss is a natural part of the aging process. But noise-induced hearing loss is on the rise.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 15 percent of adults in the U.S. from 20 to 69 and 5 percent of children over 6 are affected by noise-induced hearing loss.
“The two most common reasons for hearing loss are aging and noise-induced hearing loss,” says Dr. Greta Stamper, an audiologist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.
“Noise-induced hearing loss can occur anytime you are exposed to excessively loud sounds. It occurs most often due to repetitive exposure to loud sounds but permanent hearing loss can occur after even one episode,” says Stamper.
The most common causes of noise-induced hearing loss include exposure to loud music, lawn equipment, heavy machinery or power tools, and gunfire.
In most cases, noise-induced hearing loss is permanent and irreversible.
To reduce the risk for noise-induced hearing loss, Stamper offers these recommendations: