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Alternative namesInjury - inner ear; Trauma - inner ear; Ear injury
DefinitionAcoustic trauma is injury to the hearing mechanisms within the inner ear, caused by excessively loud noise.
Causes, incidence, and risk factorsAcoustic trauma is a common cause of sensory hearing loss . Damage to the hearing mechanisms within the inner ear may result from an explosion near the ear, gunshots, or long exposure to loud noises (such as loud music or loud machinery).
Signs and testsA good indicator of acoustic trauma is when hearing loss follows exposure to noise. Audiometry may determine the extent of the hearing loss.
TreatmentThe hearing loss may not be correctable. The goal of treatment is to heal the injury and protect the ear from further damage.
A hearing aid may help the person communicate. Coping skills such as lip-reading can be learned.
Expectations (prognosis)Hearing loss may be permanent in the affected ear(s). Ear protection may prevent the hearing loss from worsening.
Calling your health care providerCall for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms are suggestive of acoustic trauma, or any time that hearing loss occurs or worsens.
PreventionWear protective ear plugs or earmuffs to protect against damage from loud equipment. Be aware of risks connected with activities such as shooting guns, using chain saws, driving motorcycles, or driving snowmobiles or similar vehicles. Do not listen to loud music for long periods of time.
Update Date: 2/5/2003Edward Chang, MD, DDS, Facial Reconstructive Surgical and Medical Center, Palo Alto California. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT