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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 33--42

Effect of long-term, low-level noise exposure on hearing thresholds, DPOAE and suppression of DPOAE in rats

National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), Copenhagen, Denmark

Correspondence Address:
Soren P Lund
National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), Lersų Parkallé 105, 2100 CopenhagenŲ
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 12678939

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Loss of adaptability rather than loss of sensitivity may be one of the initial signs of auditory impairment following exposure to noise. One way to examine the adaptability of hearing in experimental investigation is to measure the magnitude of the suppression, exerted by the medial olivocochlear efferent system, on the ipsilateral otoacoustic emissions in response to contralateral sound stimulation. Thus, in order to test the hypothesis it was decided to measure hearing thresholds (HT), the cubic DPOAE and suppression of cubic DPOAE by contralateral wide band noise in rats exposed to long-term, low level noise (90 days of 90 dBlin 4-20 kHz wide band noise 4 hours/day, 5 days/week). Measurements of HT were performed by assessment of the ABR, elicited by tone-pips from the same probe assembly used in the measurements of DPOAE. The suppression of the cubic distortion product (CDP) was determined in ketamine/xylazine anaesthesia, allowing a stable response for a minimum of 20 min. Of the frequencies tested, the rats exposed to noise had an increase in HT at 12.8 kHz only (6.8 dB, P<0.05), while a reduction on the CDP was evident with f2 going from 9.2 kHz to the upper limit at 17.4 kHz. Further, the rats exposed to noise had little suppression of the CDP at low levels of contralateral noise (CN), but no difference from the control animals was seen as the CN noise level was increased. The measurement of DPOAE suppression did not reveal any effects of the low level noise exposure that was not paralleled also by shifts in hearing thresholds. The most sensitive assessment of the auditory changes in the study was the measurements of DPOAE, and further elaboration on the bandwidth and frequency distribution of the CN is necessary, before auditory changes in the high frequency range can be probably assessed.


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