post #16 of 29
3/17/10 at 2:05pm
"The tensor tympani muscle and stapedius muscle of the inner ear contract in response to loud sounds, reducing the transmission of sound to the inner ear. This is called the acoustic reflex."
A study: "Shipyard noise is a variable noise which induces permanent threshold shift (PTS) in exposed workers. In humans, the stapedius reflex has been found to be very stable in this type of exposure. Temporary threshold shift (TTS) in the absence of stapedius reflex has been found to extend downwards through the speech-frequencies instead of showing a high frequency dip as when the stapedius reflex is normal. The features of PTS produced by the same type of noise was investigated in rabbits with and without functioning middle ear muscles. The auditory sensitivity was measured by auditory brain stem response (ABR) and by the stapedius reflex response. Middle ear muscle function was blocked by denervation of the stapedius muscle or by general anesthesia. With normal middle ear reflex very little PTS was found. When the muscles were inactivated during the noise exposure the PTS was very extensive and covered the mid frequency range. On the basis of previous findings in humans and the present animal study it is suggested that the features of the stapedius reflex should be considered both in assessment of individual susceptibility and design of optimal acoustic environments."
So basically, not having control of, or the relaxing of the stapedius muscle, opens the ear to hearing loss ("PTS").
So if you want to go deaf, get drunk, crank your tunes and go to sleep with your headphones on.