A Review of Adverse Biomedical Effects of Sound in the Military Environment
FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SOCIETIES FOR EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY BETHESDA MD LIFE SCIENCES RESEARCH OFFICE
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The report provides a comprehensive review of the adverse effects of sound on man in the military environment. The diversity and complexity of Army systems that overexpose the soldier to noise have caused concern for his health and his capability to perform efficiently. Despite the recognition of the deleterious effects of noise exposure, problems with noise-induced hearing loss and human performance decrement continue to enlarge. It is generally recognized that overexposure to high-intensity noise during a lifetime will result in progressive hearing loss. There is no way to correct permanent threshold shift permanent hearing loss is irreversible. It is not possible at the present time to identify audiometrically individuals with increased susceptibility or resistance to injury from noise exposure. Protection by sound attenuating devices, such as earplugs or earmuffs, has proved to be the most practical way to protect and to conserve the hearing of men required to work in a noisy environment. Effective hearing conservation and reduction of noise-induced hearing loss are compromised by lack of adherence to existing Army regulations and frequent waiving of equipment design standards. Work should be directed toward reduction of noise at its source and, emphasis should be placed on increased support for ARMY HEARING CONSERVATION PROGRAMS. The report identifies research opportunities that are related to Army needs.
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