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Journal Article

Citation

Joseph AR, Shaw JL, Clouser MC, MacGregor AJ, Dougherty AL, Galarneau MR. Int. J. Audiol. 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.

Affiliation

Medical Modeling, Simulation, and Mission Support Department, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA, USA.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2020, Informa - Taylor and Francis Group)

DOI

10.1080/14992027.2020.1743884

PMID

32293926

Abstract

Objective: To identify clinical audiometric patterns of hearing loss following blast-related injury (BRI) in US military personnel.Design: Retrospective cohort study.Study sample: A total of 1186 male Navy and Marine Corps service members with normal hearing thresholds on pre-injury audiograms who had post-injury audiograms in the Blast-Related Auditory Injury Database.Results: Low- and high-frequency pure-tone averages (PTAs) were significantly higher in those with BRI than non-blast-related injury (NBRI) for both ears (p < 0.001 for all comparisons). Overall, 172 (15%) service members met criteria for post-injury hearing loss and were categorised into PTA or single-frequency hearing loss subgroups. PTA hearing loss was more common in the BRI group (50% vs. 33%, p < 0.036), whereas single-frequency hearing loss was more common in the NBRI group. Most hearing loss was mild to moderate in degree, and three distinct audiometric patterns emerged (i.e. flat, sloping and rising). A flat pattern was the most prevalent configuration among those with PTA hearing loss, especially bilateral loss. Single-frequency hearing loss was mostly unilateral and high frequency.Conclusions: In this study, BRI produced hearing loss across test frequencies, generating more clinically actionable post-injury audiograms than NBRI. We found that post-injury audiometric patterns of hearing loss among military personnel may vary.


Language: en

Keywords

Audiometric pattern; blast injury; hearing loss; military; noise exposure; severity of hearing loss

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