Mann mit Knalltrauma

When a blast trauma occurs, it is an acoustic trauma. This happens when the hair cells in the inner ear are damaged. This happens when increased sound pressure is applied to the ear. Once a certain threshold of this pressure is exceeded, it is no longer possible for the human ear to adapt. Damage occurs. Mostly it comes then to a bang trauma, if the damaging sound acts relatively briefly between one and two ms.

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We have summarized all the interesting information on the topic of acoustic trauma for you here. If you are interested in the causes and symptoms of this, you are exactly right here with us. We explain to you how your doctor diagnoses a blast trauma and which therapy approaches are possible. If you have questions, we are very happy to help you without obligation and free of charge.

Can a hearing aid help with a noise trauma?

When a blast trauma lasts and persists, in most cases there is a hearing loss in the high frequency range. This hearing loss can be very well compensated by a hearing aid. This will improve your quality of life, you will be able to hear better again, especially in noisy environments, and sounds you can no longer hear will be heard again through the hearing aids.

Reasons and causes for a bang trauma

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The reasons for acoustic blast trauma can vary. Typical examples include:

  • A powerful blow to your ear
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  • Lightning strike
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  • Burst
  • Bang
  • Shots

There is a disruption in the metabolism of your hair cells. The oxygen supply is no longer sufficient and free radicals can no longer be formed. Mechanical damage is also possible. The first to be affected is the basal area of the cochlea, which also includes the high frequency range.

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What symptoms are caused by acoustic trauma?

A typical symptom of a blast trauma is feeling like your ear is plugged, plus you notice a hearing lossin the affected ear. Typical other symptoms of blast trauma include:

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Most often, only one side is affected in a blast trauma. In the first few days, the symptoms improve. A progression of symptoms is generally not expected.

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What to do when diagnosed with a blast trauma?

For a diagnosis, your ear, nose and throat doctor creates a hearing curve. Through this audiogram, sensorineural hearing loss can be detected. Either a dip at 4000 Hz or a drop in the curve at high sound frequencies is detected.

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In the case of a bang trauma, the so-called SISI test is positive. For you, it means that the span between the comfort threshold and the hearing threshold is lower than in people who can hear normally. The loudness itself increases faster. This happens because of the damaged outer hair cells. In a healthy ear, the outer hair cells can modify the sound. Soft sounds are amplified, or loud sounds are attenuated. Thus, you can usually perceive a relatively wide range of sounds.

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If your hair cells in your ears are damaged, however, this modification fails. The reason can be a bang trauma. Then no otoacoustic emissions can be measured. This only works if the outer hair cells are intact. However, because there is additional noise exposure in this test, it is performed only one week after the trauma.

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What are the treatment options for acoustic trauma?

The first therapeutic measure is infusion therapy with procaine and HAAES. The treatment is quasi similar to a hearing loss. Furthermore, it can still come to the administration of cortisone. If these two therapies do not work, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is tried.

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In any case, you should start therapy as early as possible, because this is crucial for the prognosis. The sooner you start therapy, the lower the risk that you will suffer permanent damage from the blast trauma.

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Surgery is only performed if either one or both windows in the inner ear are damaged or a perilymph fistula has formed. In this case, a pathological connection to the middle ear is formed. A fistula, if present, or a damaged window is achieved by rehabilitating the tympanic membrane opening. There is talk of the so-called tympanotomy.

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If the trauma lasts longer with you, there is usually hearing damage in the high frequency range. Especially in a louder environment you then feel limited. A hearing aid can help you with a permanent bang trauma in any case, so that you can also perceive the high tones again.

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What is the prognosis in case of a bang trauma?

The prognosis is relatively good. After about six weeks, you can expect an improvement in symptoms. Often, the hearing restores itself completely. However, if the symptoms persist after six weeks, your prognosis is rather poor. In most cases, you can no longer expect a successful therapy.

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Do you have questions about the topic of acoustic trauma and hearing loss? Very happy you can get more information about us. We can also advise you on hearing aids in the event of a blast trauma and answer all your questions in a highly professional manner. The best way to contact us is simply via this form or arrange a consultation with us right away.

If you want to learn about other ear conditions, we have more articles in our magazine.