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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 78  |  Page : 263--272

DPOAE level mapping for detecting noise-induced cochlear damage from short-duration music exposures

1 Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Department of Medicine, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
2 Creare, LLC, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
3 Geisel School of Medicine, Department of Biomedical Data Sciences, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
4 University of Northern Colorado, Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Sciences, Greeley, Colorado, USA

Correspondence Address:
Jay C Buckey
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, New Hampshire - 03756
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.165037

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Distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) level mapping provides a comprehensive picture of cochlear responses over a range of DP frequencies and f2 /f1 ratios. We hypothesized that individuals exposed to high-level sound would show changes detectable by DPOAE mapping, but not apparent on a standard DP-gram. Thirteen normal hearing subjects were studied before and after attending music concerts. Pure-tone audiometry (500-8,000 Hz), DP-grams (0.3-10 kHz) at 1.22 ratio, and DPOAE level maps were collected prior to, as soon as possible after, and the day after the concerts. All maps covered the range of 2,000-6,000 Hz in DP frequency and from 1.3 to -1.3 in ratio using equi-level primary tone stimuli. Changes in the pure-tone audiogram were significant (P ≤ 0.01) immediately after the concert at 1,000 Hz, 4,000 Hz, and 6,000 Hz. The DP-gram showed significant differences only at f2 = 4,066 (P = 0.01) and f2 = 4,348 (P = 0.04). The postconcert changes were readily apparent both visually and statistically (P ≤ 0.01) on the mean DP level maps, and remained statistically significantly different from baseline the day after noise exposure although no significant changes from baseline were seen on the DP-gram or audiogram the day after exposure. Although both the DP-gram and audiogram showed recovery by the next day, the average DPOAE level maps remained significantly different from baseline. The mapping data showed changes in the cochlea that were not detected from the DP-gram obtained at a single ratio. DPOAE level mapping provides comprehensive information on subtle cochlear responses, which may offer advantages for studying and tracking noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).


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