Temporary Hearing Loss
Your ears can recover from the temporary hearing loss caused by occasional, mild overexposure to noise, if you give them a chance.
Image courtesy of US NIOSH
Temporary Loss of Hearing
If your ears are ringing or sounds seem muted and distant after you've been in a noisy environment, you are experiencing a type of hearing loss, which is probably temporary. This happens because the
delicate hair cells in your inner ear have been overworked and are fatigued,
and are not functioning as well as usual.
Restoring Your Normal Hearing
If a hearing loss is temporary, your hearing can recover if you give it the chance. That means leaving the noisy environment, or using
if leaving is not immediately possible. Then you'll want to rest your ears, avoiding high levels of noise for at least 24 hours, ideally keeping your noise exposure
below 70 decibels.
Your ears should recover within 16 hours; in some cases it may take 48-72 hours (2-3 days) to be restored. If after two weeks your normal hearing still has not returned, it's likely that the hair cells have been unable to recover and you've experienced some degree of permanent
A Warning Sign
Any time you lose some of your hearing capacity, even if only temporarily, that's a warning sign. Remember what caused it, and take it as a useful lesson that that situation can be harmful to your hearing, whether it's mowing the lawn, going out to a crowded bar, or attending a sporting event. To avoid the possibility of temporary hearing problems becoming permanent, use
every time you are in a similar situation in the future.
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