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Damaging Effects Of Noise On Hearing Ability

Intense short-duration exposures such as explosions result in an immediate noticeable hearing loss. This injury is termed acoustic trauma. Shortly after the exposure, the individual has what has been termed a 'compound threshold shift' (CTS), which suggests that the hearing loss has both temporary and permanent components. Thresholds partially recover over 1-2 weeks post-exposure. This recovery represents the disappearance of the TTS. The individual so exposed is often left with a 60 dB PTS at one or more high frequencies. A classic study by Ward and Glorig (1961) documented the severe, permanent hearing loss resulting from a single exposure to an exploding firecracker.

Noise Health Effects  : -  Are the health consequences of elevated sound levels. Elevated workplace or other noise can cause hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance, sleep disturbance, and decreased school performance. Changes in the immune system and birth defects have been attributed to noise exposure, but evidence is limited. 

Although some presbycusis may occur naturally with age, in many developed nations the cumulative impact of noise is sufficient to impair the hearing of a large fraction of the population over the course of a lifetime. Noise exposure has also been known to induce tinnitus, hypertension, vasoconstriction and other cardiovascular impacts. Beyond these effects, elevated noise levels can create stress, increase workplace accident rates, and stimulate aggression and other anti-social behaviors. The most significant causes are vehicle and aircraft noise, prolonged exposure to loud music, and industrial noise.

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