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Individual Risk of Hearing Damage Caused by Noise

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For characterizing hearing loss caused by noise, the permanent threshold shift (PTS) is suitable. The expected value of the PTS is related to a total does, depending on noise exposure and age. In the noise dose, all sound influences on the ear during lifetime are accumulated. However, the noise dose should be used in a more general sense than usually. It should be defined as the time integral over the weighted sound pressure magnitude, where the weighting exponent depends on the magnitude. The inter-individual variations in PTS are considerable, even with the same noise doze. Susceptibility tests are possible. The basis of such tests is the integrated temporal threshold shift (ITTS) as a suitable measure of the physiological stress of hearing. In susceptibility tests, extremely susceptible persons should be found out. Such persons should be preserved from noise exposure or protected especially. The noise damaged ear cannot be restored to the quality of the healthy ear, by using hearing aids. Electronic ear protectors should be designed and produced, for protecting hunters, extremely susceptible musicians, and other susceptible persons who cannot be preserved from exposure to sound of high intensity.

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