Noise Induced Hearing Loss Defined
The term Noise Induced Hearing Loss describes the effects of exposure to dangerous levels of sound either abruptly, like the sound of an explosion, or over extended periods of time, that in some cases occur over years, as in the case of a career in a hazardously loud working environment.
Exposure to hazardous levels of sound can damage or destroy the fragile hair cells (called Stereocilia, pictured below) located in the inner ear that are necessary for hearing. The damage caused by Noise Induced Hearing Loss is irreparable and gradually increases over time.
Healthy hair cells, pictured above, are located in the inner ear. To see what damaged hair cells look like go to the next page.