Hearing loss caused by loud noises is called noise-induced hearing
loss (acoustic trauma). It is more common for gradual hearing loss to occur
from long-term (chronic) exposure to loud noise than from a sudden (acute) loud
burst of sound. Hearing loss may be temporary or permanent. Long-term exposure
to loud noises can cause permanent hearing loss.
Common causes of acoustic trauma include:
Loud music, such as live musical performances and
home, auto, or portable stereo systems. Hearing loss is usually temporary but
can be permanent.
Industrial sounds, such as traffic, sirens, jet
engines, power tools, chain saws, jackhammers, or hydraulic
Physical injury to the ear. Severe injury can
rupture the eardrum. Physical injury can be caused by:
A blow to the side of the
An explosive burst of sound close to the ear, such as when an air bag is set off during a motor vehicle accident.
changes in environmental pressure, such as from underwater diving or descending
in an airplane.
Most people stop hearing high-frequency sounds, such as bells and
chimes, first. Later, it becomes harder to hear lower-frequency sounds, such as
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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