Recovery of the Acoustic Reflex Response as Function of Noise Exposure and Quiet Interval
AbstractIn order to know if the acoustic reflex does protect the inner ear from temporary threshold shift caused by the exposure to a loud industrial noise, one need to know the reflex response decay during the noise exposure, as well as the amount of recovery allowed by quiet intervals. The influence of the duration of a broadband noise, on the recovery function of the acoustic reflex has been investigated. Four noise durations and four (or occasionally five) quiet intervals were selected. Results showed that the reflex recovery is an exponential function of the quiet interval that exists between two noise exposures; after a few seconds of rest, recovery proceeds fairly rapidly, even if the continuous noise exposure lasts 12 minutes. Results also indicated that for the 6 and 12 minute exposure durations, the reflex recovery is independent of the noise duration. For the shorter durations, that is those associated with a reflex decay of 20 and 40%, the results tend to indicate that the recovery is probably independent of the percentage of decay prevailing at the end of the noise exposure.
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