The Effects Of Explosion Exposure On Central Auditory Function

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The health effects following exposure to blast impact are a growing concern in the United States, especially in the military population. The United State’s involvement in warfare in recent years has led to many unseen developments not only psychologically but also physically in the service men and women returning home. Technological changes in current years have allowed for the development of various types of lethal weaponry, such as with high-intensity explosive devices. Improvised explosive devices, known as IEDs have largely been used in recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The use of IEDs in combat has led to debilitating losses and handicaps experienced by some of our military personnel, including traumatic brain injury (TBI). The…show more content…
One of the breakthrough studies (Gallun et al., 2012) tested 36 blast-exposed and 29 non blast-exposed participants. Participants were tested on batteries of behavioral and physical tests whose scores can demonstrate a connection to problems with central auditory processing (Gallun et al., 2012). The purpose of the study was to see if participants with blast exposure performed worse on these tests than participants without blast exposure, especially with hearing in complex auditory environments and speech-in-noise types of measures (Gallun et al., 2012). The blast exposure group included veterans seeking treatment at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center post-Iraq War. They identified as having exposure to a high-intensity blast at least once within the past year. They were excluded from the study if they had any TBI higher than the moderate diagnosis, and were also excluded if they had a hearing loss over 50 dB HL. Subjects without blast-exposure were also recruited for the study and were tested at the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research in Portland. These subjects’ data were used as a baseline comparison to obtain data reflecting the general population that has been unaffected by blast exposure. The non-blast exposure group was recruited into the study based on similar age and hearing capabilities as those with blast exposure. Participants from both groups underwent

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