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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 44  |  Page : 151--155

Is there evidence that environmental noise is immunotoxic?


Audiology Department, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Deepak Prasher
Audiology Department, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, Surrey
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.53361

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Noise is a stressor. Noise-induced stress can lead to release of stress hormones. Acute stress whether physical or psychological is necessary for adaptation to change. However, chronic stress can lead to the persistent elevation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical hormones, which are detrimental to health and can lead to disease states. It has also been suggested that there may be multiple interactions between the sympathetic and the complex feedback neuroendocrine systems, which interact with the immune system, in the genesis of the observed effects. Thus noise stress may be a factor contributing to the mechanisms of noise-induced hearing loss through alterations in the cell-mediated immune response. Other than the noise stress acting directly, it may also have an impact on the immune function via noise-induced sleep deprivation. Furthermore, recent evidence indicates that the immune function may be modified by conditioning techniques, perceived control, or the individual's ability to cope with stress-inducing factors. This suggests a possible means of alleviating the stress-induced effects. This review will examine the current available data on the effects of chronic environmental noise exposure on immune function.






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