Years of repeated exposure to loud noise increases the risk of developing a noncancerous tumor that could cause hearing loss, suggests research from Ohio State University, Columbus.
"It doesn't matter if the noise comes from years of on-the-job exposure or from a source that isn't job-related," according to Colin Edwards, a doctoral student in the School of Public Health.
In the study, people who repeatedly were exposed to loud noise over the span of several years were, on average, one-and-a-half times as likely to develop this type of tumor compared to individuals who were not subjected to such loud decibels. The tumor, called acoustic neuroma, grows slowly and symptoms typically become noticeable around age 50 or older. An acoustic neuroma tumor presses the cranial nerve that is responsible for sensing sound and helping with balance. Symptoms include hearing loss and a constant ringing in the ears, or tinnitus.
The tumor is fairly rare, accounting for only about six to 10% of tumors that develop inside the skull. Depending on the population...