Sub-clinical effects of chronic noise exposure on vestibular system
De Luca, Pietro
Gioacchini, Federico Maria
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Aim: to investigate the effect of chronic noise exposure on vestibular function of subjects without clinical evidence of vestibular disorders and with documented cochlear damage from noise. Subjects and methods: 25 patients with chronic noiseinduced hearing loss (NIHL) and without vestibular complaints (group A) and 25 matched controls with sensorineural hearing loss without noise exposure (group B), underwent audiological and vestibular test including caloric and cervical vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials tests (cVEMPs). Results: In subjects chronically exposed to noise, similarly to that of the auditory threshold, an increase in the evocation threshold of VEMPs has been documented, statistically significant (p<0,05) and independent of the performance of the auditory threshold. p1-n1 amplitude values showed a significant difference between group A and group B. No significant difference for p1-n1 latencies between the two groups was found. Conclusion: We have documented the possibility of vestibular lesion, along with cochlear damage, related to chronic acoustic trauma.