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Acta Otolaryngol. 1980 May-Jun;89(5-6):433-9.

Fatigability of the stapedius reflex in industrial noise.


Normal hearing subjects were monaurally exposed to 30 min of tape recorded shipyard noise (97 dB (A)) which is characterized by a variable temporal structure. The stapedius muscle activity was continuously recorded in the opposite ear as a change of the ear's acoustic impedance. The reflex function was, in addition, assessed as stimulus-response curves obtained before and, at various times after, exposure. A slight reflex fatigue was observed, together with a parallel shift of the stimulus-response curve (average 4 dB). The recovery was slow and not complete even 10 min after the end of the exposure. The individual variability was large. For 5 of the subjects the exposure was repeated at a later session and the individual degree of fatigue was found to be largely producible. The present results suggest that the stapedius reflex might play a role in the clinical picture of noise induced hearing loss.

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