Uh Oh! Here Comes Noise-Induced Cochlear Synaptopathy …And It Just May Up-End Everything We Know About Hearing Conservation
For several decades damage from noise-induced hearing loss has been monitored using threshold sensitivity measurements recorded on the conventional pure tone audiogram; and more recently, measuring damage to the delicate outer hair cells in the cochlea using otoacoustic emissions. However, new research into noise-induced cochlear synaptopathy -- which by insideously causing auditory dys-synchrony places it squarely in the auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) "spectrum" -- threatens to up-end everything we know about noise-induced hearing loss measurement and treatment due to the temporal resolution damage it silently causes to speech discrimination, while barely affecting threshold measurements. In an upcoming article, we'll lay out how this new information affects the diagnostic tools the clinician uses, and the technologies recommended.