We are born with around 16,000 hair cells in the ear. These hair cells are what the brain uses to detect sound. Hair cells do not regenerate, and by the time someone notices hearing loss, many hair cells have already vanished.
After attending loud events, one may temporarily lose the ability to hear things like whispers or leaves rustling in the wind. Everything may sound muffled, and may be accompanied with a constant ringing of the ears. It may take a few days for normal hearing capabilities to return. Similar to a grassy field on a windy day, hair cells will bend on a noisy day. Hair cells that have not been damaged will straighten again, if given time to recover.
If a vast amount of hair cells were damaged from loud noise, some of them will not recover, and die off. Special consideration should be given to loud noise exposure, as repetitive occurrences are bound to destroy swaths of hair cells. This results in a gradual reduction of our ability to understand speech in loud environments. If changes are not made and overexposure continues, it will become hard to understand speech in any setting. Our auditory capabilities greatly depend on the cumulative level of noise we have encountered throughout life.
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