Acoustic trauma sounds like the name of a rock band, doesn’t it? Actually, acoustic trauma refers to injuries to your hearing in the inner ear due to very loud noise, such as gunshots, machinery, explosions, or rock music concerts.
When your inner ear can’t handle the loud noise(s), you may experience temporary–or permanent–hearing loss. Further, you may not be able to hear high-pitched sounds or you may develop tinnitus, which is a fancy word for ringing in the ear(s).
Acoustic trauma can be prevented by wearing ear protection, such as ear plugs. Otherwise, if the trauma is severe, a doctor may need to do eardrum repair or you may need to wear a hearing aid indefinitely.
If you’ve ever been to a very loud live event, such as a concert, you’ve probably experienced acoustic trauma already. Prolonged exposure to loud noise can cause what is known as a “permanent threshold shift,” which means irreversible, incurable hearing loss.
Acute acoustic trauma refers to a very loud noise that causes sudden hearing loss. Typically, the noise is sudden and very loud, such as a gunshot. Without wearing ear protection, there’s a chance you’ve ruptured your eardrum(s).
How do you know if you’re dealing with acoustic trauma? It’s not rocket science: do your ears hurt? Are they ringing? Is the noise so loud you have to shout to talk with other people? These are some clear signs that you need to get away from the intense noise levels asap.
Do yourself a favor and bring ear protection with you to places where you know there’ll be very loud noises, like the shooting range or football games. Electronic Shooters Protection (ESP) offers state-of-the-art hearing protection, custom made for your ears. If you want to avoid acoustic trauma, call ESP at 303-659-8844 and ask about their ear plugs and more.