Acoustic Shock - Hearing Injury.com

In Whiplash Injury, Audiological Symptoms

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By Dennis A. Colucci, AuD, MA

 

 

Blunt force trauma to the neck frequently results in damage to the cervical spine, either through direct assault or from whiplash. Whiplash most commonly occurs in rear-end automobile crashes but may also result from sport injuries, fall accidents, and violent head shaking. This type of trauma may cause audiovestibular system damage and additional neurosensorial disorders (Pain Pract 2008;8[1]:65). The symptoms of neck trauma may be transient and resolve in a few weeks to months, or they can develop into ongoing neck pain, headaches, hearing loss, tinnitus, or vertigo, with other injuries that can last for years.

 

Whiplash injury is a result of rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head. The head is first extended backward (hyperextension) and is then whipped forward (hyperflexion; Int Tinnitus J 1995;1[2]:105). Even at 5 mph, which is bumper car speed, the positive acceleration of the head is 8.2 Gs (J Forensic Leg Med 2009;16[2]:53). The reentry of Apollo 16 was measured at 7.19 Gs.

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