What is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?

hearing loss patient holding hand to ear expressively

Hearing loss can be caused by many different things, some are temporary and some are permanent. Noise-induced hearing loss is a type of hearing loss that is caused by too much exposure to loud noises in long or short periods of time. For example, if you’ve spent years working in a loud work environment and have avoided using hearing protection, or you frequently listen to music that’s far too loud for you to handle.

You should know that this type of hearing loss is permanent, however, there are treatments that you can seek. Consider speaking with an audiologist if you believe you are experiencing it.


It’s not always easy to identify the hearing loss that you’re experiencing, so you should consider taking note of your symptoms over time:

  • You may find it harder to hold conversations with others due to them sounding muffled or unclear. Some people pick up on their hearing loss when they find themselves asking others to repeat themselves often.
  • Your ears might feel full from time to time without there being anything in your ear. Those who have hearing loss have said that they experience pressure or a feeling of fullness in their ears.
  • You hear a ringing sound in your ears. If you experience a high-pitched ringing or tone in your ears that lasts for a few minutes from time to time, if not permanent it could be a sign that you have noise-induced hearing loss.

You should know that these symptoms aren’t exclusive to noise-induced hearing loss, and can be caused by other factors, however, it should be something to be concerned about if you are experiencing them. It could be a good idea to contact an audiologist with your concerns and get to the bottom of it.

It’s also important to note that even if some of your symptoms clear up after a while, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your ears have healed and are back to good health. The symptoms are a possible sign of hearing damage and further exposing yourself to loud noises is not recommended.

The causes

It would also help you to figure out what you’re experiencing if you knew the causes of the different types of hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss is caused primarily by one thing, which is loud noises. On a daily basis, we’re exposed to a range of noises, some being loud and some being quieter than others, but which ones are harmful?

Well, it can depend on both the volume and the pitch, as well as how close you are to the source. A loud alarm going off close to your ear can easily cause permanent hearing damage, even if it doesn’t show straight away. 

There are some who feel like if they’re not experiencing immediate symptoms, then their hearing health is fine – but that’s not always the case. Hearing damage is very rarely painful to the individual, so it can be hard to find your limits and what’s causing damage to your ears.