Hearing Impairment and Traumatic Brain Injury among Soldiers: Special Considerations for the Audiologist

The increased use of explosive devices and mines in warfare and excessive noise of weapons has created an unprecedented amount of auditory dysfunction among soldiers. Blast-related injuries may damage the auditory processing and/or balance centers resulting in hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, and/or central auditory processing disorders. Some also lead to traumatic brain injury (TBI), postconcussive syndrome (PCS), and/or posttraumatic stress disorder. Some PCS symptoms such as dizziness, loss of balance, hearing difficulty, and noise sensitivity also can signify auditory or vestibular dysfunction and should not be obscured with the PCS package. This article provides information about the mechanisms of blast injury with emphasis on auditory dysfunction and TBI. Audiologists must be prepared to identify those at risk for TBI or mental health problems and adapt audiologic clinical practices to this population. An interdisciplinary comprehensive evaluation of peripheral, central, and vestibular components of the auditory system should be employed in patients with TBI to ensure that auditory dysfunction is accurately diagnosed and that appropriate rehabilitation can be performed.

from Seminars in Hearing

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About Callier Library

Housed at the internationally renowned Callier Center for Communication Disorders, Callier Library a branch facility of the McDermott Library at The University of Texas at Dallas.

Posted on April 30, 2009, in Research and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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