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February/March 2016 (vol. 12/5)

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Hidden hearing loss

Recent scientific discoveries are transforming our understanding of the effects of noise exposure on hearing

Summary:

A newly discovered consequence of noise exposure has potential implications for noise at work regulations and health surveillance. Chris Plack and Daphne Barker explain.

HEARING ability is usually assessed using pure-tone audiometry, which measures the sensitivity of the ear to quiet sounds at different frequencies. However, recent animal experiments have demonstrated that moderate levels of noise exposure can cause damage to the connections between hair cells in the ear and auditory nerve fibres, without…

Chris Plack is Ellis Llwyd Jones professor of audiology at the University of Manchester, and professor of auditory neuroscience at Lancaster University. Daphne Barker is a research associate at the University of Manchester. Their research is supported by grants from the Medical Research Council, Action on Hearing Loss, and the Colt Foundation. 

Author: Plack C, Barker D

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Occupational Health at Work February/March 2016 (vol. 12/5) pp15-19

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