WA-6: Current Perspectives on Noise-Induced Hearing Loss


Preventing hearing loss requires an understanding of hazards to the auditory system, definitions of the auditory system harm(s) to be prevented either alone or in combination, and the options for mitigating risk and harm, and the risks of those harms.  Hazards to the auditory system include noise, but are not limited to noise.  Different types of noise exposures pose different risks and are often accompanied by additional auditory system hazards.  Harm is damage that that affects the exposed person’s daily life.  Risk is the likelihood that a known exposure to a hazard will lead to harm.  Damage-risk criteria characterize the risk of harm as a function of hazard level, and exposure limits are established to prevent the most likely harm in all but the most susceptible exposed persons.  Hearing conservation programs are designed to mitigate the risk of harm for people with excessive hazardous exposures.  Treatments and other interventions are used to mitigate the daily life effects of harm.  Each of these concepts will be tied together and described in terms of basic considerations and recent research results during this presentation.

Learning objectives:

  • Attendees will understand the differences between hazard, harm, and risk.
  • Attendees will be able to summarize recent advances in the areas of hazard, harm, and risk.
  • Attendees will recognize options for optimizing risk mitigation strategies.