Acoustic trauma

What is an acoustic trauma? Acoustic trauma can be defined as damage to the ear caused by noise. An acoustic trauma can cause a temporary or permanent hearing loss.

Causes of acoustic trauma

Acoustic trauma can be caused by a sudden and powerful sound like an explosion or similar blast wave. Explosions often lead to damaged ear drums and consequently conductive hearing loss.

Many people have experienced a period of reduced hearing after exposure to loud sounds, for example after a concert or a visit to a discotheque or after having worked with noisy equipment. This kind of hearing impairment is often temporary. After some recovery time, the acoustic trauma often will stop.

Permanent acoustic trauma

If the acoustic trauma continues, it will typically lead to hearing impairment within a relatively narrow frequency around 4 kHz. In other words, the person with an acoustic trauma will be unable to hear within a certain range of high frequency tones.

In certain daily situations, this may not bother people. But in more noisy environments, people with an acoustic trauma may have problems hearing. Sometimes a hearing aid can be of help to people suffering from permanent acoustic trauma.

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