Being exposed to a loud burst of noise may cause a Temporary Threshold Shift in your hearing. This may be from events such as a firearm being shot at close range, or going to a concert.
What is a Temporary Threshold Shift (TTS)?
TTS is hearing loss that will recover, and is due to being exposed to a harmful amount of noise. Someone may experience tinnitus (ringing in the ears) as well as have a temporary hearing loss. Temporary threshold shift (TTS) can last for hours, or up to a week.
You may be thinking, if it is just temporary then why does it matter? Well, after experiencing TTS, if the individual continues to expose themselves to loud noises, the temporary shifts in hearing will come longer and longer and will eventually become a permanent noise induced hearing loss. There is no cure for permanent hearing loss, as the damage that occurs in the inner ear which causes hearing loss cannot be treated.
What does noise do to your hearing permanently?
Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is hearing damage caused primarily by noise. Naturally, someone with noise induced hearing loss will not even realize until it is too late; it is very gradual. Individuals who have NIHL generally have the majority of their hearing loss in the high frequencies, meaning that they will not be able to hear high pitched noises and sounds. This effects their ability to have a conversation, as they will struggle hearing female voices (which are typically higher pitched than male voices), as well as pick up certain sounds and vowels (e.g., trouble distinguishing the difference between ‘s’ and ‘f’, between ‘p’ and ‘t’, or between ‘sh’ and ‘th’ in speech), this is problematic considering the person who is affected will think those around them are mumbling, as they cannot hear all of the frequencies in the human voice.