Hidden Hearing Loss: A Major Public Health Issue?

Members of the general public are welcome to attend our seminars. However space is limited so if you would like to attend, please ring Sandra Smith at least 24 hours prior to the seminar on 0115 823 2634 to reserve a place. If Sandra Smith is unavailable contact Jan Kelly on 0115 823 2617 or contact reception on 0115 823 2600.

04 November 2013

Presenter(s): Christopher Plack
Time: 13.00 - 14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1


Dramatic results from recent animal experiments suggest that moderate noise exposure can cause substantial permanent damage to the auditory nerve that is not detected by standard hearing tests. A large number of people, probably millions in the UK alone, are exposed to occupational and recreational noise levels similar to, or greater than, those used in the animal experiments. There is some evidence that people with a history of noise exposure, but with normal hearing as measured by pure tone audiometry, have perceptual deficits on tasks such as hearing speech in noisy backgrounds. This “hidden” loss may also be associated with tinnitus and hyperacusis. In the talk I will describe the rationale and research plan for a recently awarded MRC programme grant that aims to provide a comprehensive account of the physiological bases and perceptual consequences of hidden hearing loss in humans. I will also present animal and human pilot data based on the “frequency-following response;” an electrophysiological measure of neural temporal coding.