|Year : 1998 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 56--66
Distortion product otoacoustic emissions in acute acoustic trauma
HNO-Universitätsklinik, Leipzig, Germany
Acute acoustic traumas are caused by exposure to extremely high noise levels ranging from milliseconds to several hours' duration. In pure tone audiometry they range from the C5 dip to basomediocochlear sensorineural hearing loss. Their pathogenesis is assumed to consist of micromechanical-traumatic and biochemical-metabolic damage to the outer hair cells. In order to establish the changes to the DPOAE (distortion products of otoacoustic emissions), 17 patients were examined after sustaining acute acoustic trauma. The causes included firework explosions, anti-tank rocket launchers, vehicle tyre bursting, rock concerts, hand-gun shots, sub-machine gun fire, hand grenade explosion, exploding car battery. The pure tone audiogram, tympanogram, tinnitus maskability and DPOAE (both DP-gram and growth rate in various frequencies) were determined in all patients. If the event had occurred some time ago, measurements were taken only once; in acute cases measurements were repeated at different times. In nine patients with persistent hearing impairment, clear DPs were found in the unaffected frequencies but were completely absent in the affected frequency range. Four of these patients were unilaterally and two patients were bilaterally affected; three patients had a different (not noise-induced) hearing loss on the opposite side. In eight patients with regressive hearing loss, DPs were by contrast detectable throughout the entire frequency range, their amplitudes only rising slightly as hearing recovered. Of these eight patients, three were unilaterally and five bilaterally affected. DPOAE seem to indicate the likelihood of recovery of hearing threshold after an acute acoustic trauma. In cases with DPs completely absent in the affected frequency range, the prognosis seems to be much worse than in cases with present DPs in the frequency range of hearing.
HNO-Universitätsklinik, Liebigstr. 18a, D- 04103 Leipzig
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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