Evaluation of the olivocochlear efferent reflex strength in the susceptibility to temporary hearing deterioration after music exposure in young adults
Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology and Logopaedic-Audiologic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, De Pintelaan 185 2P1, 9000 Ghent, Belgium; Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
The objective of the current study was to evaluate the predictive role of the olivocochlear efferent reflex strength in temporary hearing deterioration in young adults exposed to music. This was based on the fact that a noise-protective role of the medial olivocochlear (MOC) system was observed in animals and that efferent suppression (ES) measured using contralateral acoustic stimulation (CAS) of otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) is capable of exploring the MOC system. Knowing an individual′s susceptibility to cochlear damage after noise exposure would enhance preventive strategies for noise-induced hearing loss. The hearing status of 28 young adults was evaluated using pure-tone audiometry, transient evoked OAEs (TEOAEs) and distortion product OAEs (DPOAEs) before and after listening to music using an MP3 player during 1 h at an individually determined loud listening level. CAS of TEOAEs was measured before music exposure to determine the amount of ES. Regression analysis showed a distinctive positive correlation between temporary hearing deterioration and the preferred gain setting of the MP3 player. However, no clear relationship between temporary hearing deterioration and the amount of ES was found. In conclusion, clinical measurement of ES, using CAS of TEOAEs, is not correlated with the amount of temporary hearing deterioration after 1 h music exposure in young adults. However, it is possible that the temporary hearing deterioration in the current study was insufficient to activate the MOC system. More research regarding ES might provide more insight in the olivocochlear efferent pathways and their role in auditory functioning.
acoustic reflex; adult; article; auditory stimulation; cochlea; efferent nerve; female; human; male; methodology; MP3 player; music; noise injury; pathophysiology; physiology; pons; pure tone audiometry; regression analysis; spontaneous otoacoustic emission; young adult; Acoustic Stimulation; Adult; Audiometry, Pure-Tone; Cochlea; Efferent Pathways; Female; Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced; Humans; Male; MP3-Player; Music; Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous; Pons; Reflex, Acoustic; Regression Analysis; Young Adult