The Effects of High Intensity Noise on Human Equilibrium
AIR FORCE AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
Pagination or Media Count:
Five experiments were conducted on the effects of broadband, high intensity noise on human equilibrium. The ability of subject to balance on narrow rails was measured during exposure to the noise and immediately after termination of the noise. Four different noise conditions were used in each experiment control, 120, 130, and 140 dB re. 0.0002 dynesq cm. In the first experiment subjects wore earmuffs and earplugs in the second, only earplugs were worn and in the third experiment, subjects wore earplugs and one earmuff to produce an asymmetrical exposure. At an ambient level of 140 dB, a detrimental effect was obtained in all three experiments. At lower intensities of noise, there were performance decrements only for the asymmetrical exposure. In the remaining two experiments, conducted after termination of the noise, detrimental effects were obtained for asymmetrical auditory exposure but not for equal auditory exposure. The results of these experiments are interpreted as a possible quantitative demonstration of the direct effect of high intensity noise on the vestibular system.
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