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Prev Med. 1994 Sep;23(5):665-9.

Prevention of noise-induced hearing loss.

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  • 1Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska 66131.


Sounds of sufficient loudness and duration will damage the human ear resulting in temporary or permanent hearing loss, often accompanied by tinnitus. Irreversible inner ear damage from repeated sound overstimulation can occur at any age, including early infancy, resulting in permanent noise-induced hearing loss. A typical noise-induced hearing loss impairs the understanding of speech sounds, which could degrade performance in the classroom and on the job. Utilizing current knowledge about ear protection, noise-induced-hearing loss is entirely preventable except in cases of accidental exposure. Unfortunately, widespread and consistent use of appropriate ear protection devices by individuals at risk has been an elusive public health goal.

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