Permanent HEARING LOSS through deterioration of hair cells in the ORGAN OF CORTI. Such damage usually results from brief exposure to intense noise (see IMPACT SOUNDs), in particular those of high frequency.
Frequencies in the 4000 Hz range are the most dangerous, since an exposure of only five to ten minutes at 120 dB may produce a THRESHOLD SHIFT (TS) of 40 dB. The range of TS in excess of 40 dB is said to be the region of possible acoustic trauma. In addition to the occupational hazards of industrial noise, recreational exposure to heavily amplified music can also be serious enough to produce acoustic trauma.
See: DAMAGE-RISK CRITERIA, HYPERACUSIS, OCCUPATIONAL DEAFNESS, SOCIOCUSIS, SENSORY-NEURAL HEARING LOSS. Compare: PRESBYCUSIS, RECRUITMENT, THRESHOLD OF PAIN, TINNITUS.