Home Health Hearing loss: Noticing a particular sound could be indicative of ear damage

Hearing loss: Noticing a particular sound could be indicative of ear damage

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Exposure to loud noise is the second biggest cause of hearing loss – could you be affected? Listen out for one particular sound.

The charity Action On Hearing Loss noted: “Long exposure to sounds over 80dB(A) can damage your ears.”

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The “80dB(A)” refers to the decibel scale used to measure noise levels.

The charity explained: “It mirrors the sensitivity of human ears to different levels and pitches of sound.”

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Long-term exposure to loud noises can shorten the range of frequencies you can hear.

For instance, the ability to hear high-pitched and low-pitched sounds will decrease.

At first, this reduction in hearing ability could go unnoticed, yet a particular sound could serve as a warning sign.

If you hear ringing in the ears – known as tinnitus – it’s a sign you’re hearing has been damaged.

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Hearing loss: Can you hear that sound? (Image: Getty)

“Two-thirds of people with tinnitus have hearing loss,” the charity confirmed.

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Some people can describe the sound as “hissing, humming, buzzing or whooshing”.

Tinnitus may be there all the time, or it can come and go – or it may only occur when you’re feeling congested.

Tinnitus and hearing loss

When we hear, sound waves travel through the ear into the cochlea – a hearing organ in the inner ear.

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The cochlea is lined with numerous sound-sensing hair cells that turn sound waves into electrical signals.

The hearing nerve sends these electrical signals to the brain, which interprets them and recognises them as sound.

When a person has hearing damage, the number of electrical signals sent to the brain decreases.

Research has shown that the brain then tries to “fill in the gaps”, which is a major cause of tinnitus.

Listening to loud music at a younger age could lead to tinnitus (Image: Getty)

A person experiencing hearing loss is more aware of tinnitus too, as other environmental sounds aren’t picked up.

There’s also a known link between stress and tinnitus, which means you’re more likely to notice the sound when you feel a bit on edge.

Age-related damage to the inner is “the single biggest cause of hearing loss” – known as presbycusis.

It can make it harder to hear “s”, “f” and “th” sounds in words – and there is no cure.

Wearing a hearing aid could make hearing the TV easier (Image: Getty)

However, many people will find wearing a hearing aid to be useful; these work by using microphones to pick up noises and adjust sounds digitally.

There are various advantages to eating a hearing aid, such as making conversations easier to follow and helping you enjoy the television.

Not sure if your hearing is deteriorating? Book a free hearing test at Boots.

The in-store hearing test takes less than 15 minutes, where a qualified audiologist will assess your hearing and deliver feedback.

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