It is a product of modern life. On-the-job noise exposure is the most common cause, but recreational noise, such as loud music is catching up. A sound's potential to damage the ear depends on the duration as well as the intensity of the sound.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers guidelines- sound below 75 decibels (dB) are safe, but eight hours at 85 dB can be harmful. As for the symptoms for noise-induced hearing loss, the disorder begins with a subtle difficulty hearing high-frequency tones, then slowly begins to encompass lower tones.
Usually, both ears are equally involved. Once your hearing is lost, it can't be restored; your only recourse is to wear a hearing aid. That's why it is important to recognize the warning signs.
A sound is loud enough to cause damage when a person's ears ring or buzz after being exposed to noise. And if noise exposure makes hearing painful, muffled, blurry, or distant for hours or days, you are already in trouble.
In order to protect oneself from the hazards of loud noise, the first suggestion would be turn down the volume. And in case of occasional exposures, disposable ear plugs should be used and if frequently at risk, investment should be done in custom-fitted ear plugs. And for maximum protection, acoustic earmuffs should be used.
The report will be issued in Harvard Men's Health Watch.