A group of young people are chatting in the street. Suddenly, a mobile phone rings. Everyone is looking at their mobile phones. Only the real owner continues to talk on his own, until someone reminds him that his mobile phone is ringing. Be careful! He may have noise induced hearing loss at this time.

According to an eight-year study of more than 5000 six to 19-year-olds published in the American Journal of Pediatrics, 12.5% of them have noise threshold changes (NITS) in their hearing tests. This change represents that they have been exposed to excessive noise that is harmful to hearing at least once, some of which are temporary, but some may be permanent. The study also found that 4.9% of adolescents had moderate to severe permanent hearing impairment. This provides a big warning to the health care related professionals and parents of young people that noise induced hearing loss is not only a patent for adult occupational injury. In recent years, with the progress of society and the change of life style, children and teenagers have more opportunities to be exposed to excessive noise unconsciously – VIDEO playground, KTV, pub, computer games, Walkman headphones and firecrackers, etc. These are quite different from the noises that cause occupational injuries, such as factories, sirens, explosives, airports, shooting ranges, etc., but they make people ignore the impact of these noises and neglect the importance of noise protection.

Although no studies have shown that children’s inner ear structure is more fragile and vulnerable to noise, in fact, noise damage to the inner ear is cumulative. The earlier the inner ear is injured, the more likely it is to develop hearing disorders that affect the quality of life in the future. Personal clinical experience also found that in addition to the hearing impairment caused by long-term occupational noise exposure in the elderly, more and more young people have typical noise hearing impairment. Investigate the reasons, including long-term or even overnight use of headphones, like to spend time in pub, disco and work in high noise environment is the most likely. The most frightening thing is that the early symptoms of this kind of noise hearing impairment are very mild, sometimes it may be just tinnitus, blurred listening, or less sensitive to the music of the pager and mobile phone. If we ignore these warning signs and continue to be exposed to the noise, once the permanent injury to the inner ear is formed, it can no longer return to normal. If it is serious, we even need to wear hearing aids to maintain normal communication and life. It’s a preventable injury that can’t be treated at all. Therefore, it is an urgent task for doctors, public health education units and parents to deal with the problem of noise and hearing injury.

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Common sense and problems of noise protection

What are the sources of noise?

Answer: it can be roughly divided into professional noise and entertainment noise. High noise occupations include police, factory workers, construction workers, farmers, soldiers, airport workers, heavy industry and rock band musicians. High noise entertainment places such as electric toys, popular concerts, KTV, karaoke, pub, fireworks or sports venues

Question: how loud will it hurt the inner ear?

A: the condition of inner ear injury depends on the noise intensity and time of exposure. The unit of sound intensity is decibel. The minimum volume that a normal ear can hear is set at 0 decibel, and the intensity of every 10 decibels increases exponentially. It is generally accepted that when the continuous volume reaches 85 decibels, it will certainly cause more or less damage to the inner ear. Simply put, when you have to shout to make the normal hearing one meter away understand what you are talking about, the background noise will damage your inner ear. If you can’t hear clearly when shouting in your ear, the advice of conscience, for your ears to continue to serve you normally for a long time, please leave the noise environment as soon as possible.

Q: how does noise induced hearing loss occur?

A: the direct effect of noise on the inner ear is the damage of hair cells in the inner ear. Inner ear hair cells are important transducers for converting external sound waves into human auditory nerve waves. There are more than 10000 normal hair cells in a normal ear. With the increase of aging and noise exposure, the quality and quantity decrease day by day. This is also one of the important reasons for the so-called degenerative or senile hearing impairment. Excessive instantaneous high decibels (such as explosions) or continuous exposure to noise (such as factory noise) can cause accelerated damage to inner ear hair cells. Some of the injuries are temporary, and will recover after a rest; some are permanent, but the symptoms are not obvious, because the rest of the hair cells are enough to meet the needs of hearing, but there may be slight tinnitus or blurred hearing and other noise threshold changes (NITS).

Q: what are the early warning signs? Do I need to see a doctor since I can’t cure it well?

A: in general, when permanent hearing loss is really caused, it cannot be treated. Only hearing rehabilitation can be done. However, most of the noise induced hearing injuries can be delayed if they are alert and prevented early. At the same time, correct consultation and health education are very important to avoid further damage to the damaged inner ear. Chinese people’s habit of seeking medical treatment is often just for medical treatment, ignoring consultation and health education. I’m afraid that asking more questions will cause doctors’ unhappiness. In fact, I believe that for noise induced hearing injury, which can only be prevented, correct diagnosis, regular tracking and more correct protection information are far more effective than vitamin prescription. In addition, otologists will arrange a series of tests to evaluate hearing ability to determine the degree of injury and arrange regular follow-up.

The following are early warning signs of < a href = "http://www.sqhearing.com/tlkp/1067.html" target = "_blank" > noise induced hearing < / a > injuries

1. Tinnitus immediately after noise exposure

2. After leaving the noise environment, the voice recognition continues to be blurred, unable to understand the content of other people’s speech

III. speech recognition difficulty – Hearing voice but not understanding it

What is noise protection?

A: noise protection can be divided into active and passive aspects

On the one hand, actively improve or leave the noise environment,. For example, reduce the noise volume, avoid being in a high decibel noise environment in a confined space for a long time, avoid using headphones for a long time, and set up sound insulation devices, such as sound doors and sound walls.

On the other hand, if you can’t actively improve or leave the noise environment for any reason, you have to use ear muffs or earplugs and other noise protection equipment. Earplug refers to the noise barrier device plugged into the ear canal; earmuff refers to the device isolating the whole outer ear shell. The material and design are different, and the effect of noise barrier is also different.

Q: I’m used to noise. I don’t need noise protection

A: the ear can’t adapt to noise, it will only become deaf, and the worst thing is that the ear with noise induced hearing damage seems to be more able to adapt to noise. However, this does not mean that you have a better ability to resist further damage caused by noise. It will only make you more unconsciously exposed to the noise for a long time without self-knowledge, and accelerate the noise induced hearing damage.

Q: I have had noise induced hearing injury after inspection. Why do I need noise protection?

A: with noise induced hearing loss, further damage to the residual hearing cannot be prevented. And the initial noise induced hearing loss is in the higher frequency range. If noise protection is not done, it will gradually affect the low frequency of speech recognition.

Although the use of noise protective equipment can not restore the damaged hearing, it can prevent the noise from further damaging the residual hearing, otherwise it will be hard to escape the fate of using hearing aids.

Q: I know that noise protection equipment should be used, but it is uncomfortable and inconvenient to communicate with colleagues

A: the use of noise protection will cause temporary inconvenience and discomfort, but it can avoid the inconvenience and discomfort of wearing hearing aids permanently. Especially at the beginning of use, it’s like wearing new glasses or shoes. It needs a period of adaptation. In addition, there are often problems of improper size or material quality, which need to be adjusted and replaced. Never stop eating because of choking.

As for the inconvenient communication, in fact, when the background noise reaches 85 decibels or above, wearing noise protection equipment will make the hearing clearer because it reduces the excessive burden on the ears and the distortion of the voice. This kind of situation is similar to wearing sunglasses in the sun. Instead of being unable to see clearly, you can see more clearly because of blocking excessive light. Of course, you don’t need sunglasses in the darkroom. The only exception is that if there is hearing impairment, protective equipment may block communication, but it is necessary to protect them from further hearing loss.

Link:Noise induced hearing impairment in adolescents and its prevention

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