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Hear Res. 1984 Dec;16(3):251-60.

Aspirin-induced hearing loss as a model of sensorineural hearing loss.

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Department of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin 78712.


Performance in forward-masking, temporal-integration, and gap-detection tasks was measured in five normal-hearing subjects before and during a five-day period of aspirin use. The drug regimen was 3.9 g per day, taken in four equal doses at 6-h intervals. In the subjects showing substantial temporary hearing loss induced by the aspirin, (1) forward masking declined at about a normal rate as the masker-to-signal interval was increased, (2) the temporal-integration functions were flatter than normal, and (3) detection of a temporal gap was worse than normal at low sound-pressure levels (SPLs) but was essentially normal at levels above about 60 dB SPL. These aspirin-induced changes in performance are similar to the differences observed between normal listeners and listeners with mild sensorineural hearing loss. Thus, temporary, aspirin-induced hearing loss offers promise as a model condition for sensorineural hearing loss. The advantages offered by this model include all those typically attributed to within-subjects experimental designs, as well as the ability to manipulate the amount of hearing loss. Its primary disadvantages are that the hearing loss is not asymmetrically distributed toward the high-frequency region, as it typically is with sensorineural deafness, and there are large individual differences in the amount of temporary hearing loss induced by fixed doses of aspirin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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