Acoustic trauma

Alternative Names

Injury – inner ear; Trauma – inner ear; Ear injury

Definition of Acoustic trauma

Acoustic trauma is injury to the hearing mechanisms in the inner ear due to very loud noise.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Acoustic trauma is a common cause of sensory . Damage to the hearing mechanisms within the inner ear may be caused by:

Signs and tests

The health care provider will usually suspect acoustic trauma if hearing loss occurs after noise exposure. may determine how much hearing has been lost.


The hearing loss may not be treatable. The goal of treatment is to protect the ear from further damage. may be needed.

Expectations (prognosis)

Hearing loss may be permanent in the affected ear. Ear protection may prevent the hearing loss from getting worse.


Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/4/2010

Sound wave transmission

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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