The effects of noise on the audiovestibular system have been well-known for centuries.

By the nineteenth century, physicians and scientists began describing the risks associated with noise without fully understanding the underlying mechanisms. Hearing loss due to noise was linked initially to occupations such as blacksmithing, soldiering, and hunting. As time progressed, noise-induced hearing loss from continuous, impulse, or explosive sounds was recognized for its effect on the inner ears, hearing and balance systems, and brain. Today, the relationship to deafness, tinnitus, hyperacusis, central auditory processing disorders, and nonauditory effects ranging from sleep deprivation to cardiovascular disease is well known as reported in the scientific literature.