The Hyperacusis Network Message Board
Sign up Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Rob

Registered:
Posts: 4,049
Reply with quote  #1 
From the Boston Globe
April 18, 2013


Many near bomb blast may have hearing loss

By Deborah Kotz

Hundreds of people were in close proximity to the deafening bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon on Monday, and many have been treated at local hospitals for serious ear injuries. But hearing specialists say an untold number of other people could be suffering from hearing loss or ringing in their ears, called tinnitus, though they did not seek out medical help immediately.

Tufts Medical Center, which has treated a number of admitted patients for ear drum punctures and nerve damage, expects to eventually see outpatients with milder hearing problems, said Susan McDonald a senior audiologist at Tufts Medical Center.

Several patients visited Brigham and Women’s Hospital on Tuesday and Wednesday for hearing problems, as well as non-urgent shrapnel wounds. A spokeswoman said all had been discharged.

High-energy sound waves from an explosion can damage the ear by destroying nerve cells or ripping through the delicate eardrum tissue that separates the outer ear from the middle ear.

“Many of the patients with hearing loss that we’re treating were right by the bomb site, but it’s possible that less severe effects have occurred in those who were 100 feet or more away from the blast,” said Dr. Alicia Quesnel, an otologist at Mass. Eye and Ear, which has seen at least a dozen patients.

A 2004 Finnish study examining the effects of a mall bombing on hearing loss found that some kind of ear injury was likely for anyone standing up to 230 feet from the explosion, but it’s not known whether the size of that blast was similar to the boom from the Boston bombs.

Mass. Eye and Ear posted a message on its website alerting people who were near the blast to seek medical attention if they are experiencing any signs of a torn eardrum. These symptoms include bloody or other drainage from the ear, hearing loss, dizziness, and facial drooping.

Small holes in the eardrum usually heal on their own, but those with larger perforations may require surgery to restore their hearing. Irreversible nerve damage leading to permanent hearing loss can sometimes occur from loud noises, though it’s usually more common from prolonged exposure like at a heavy metal concert.

“Some of our patients may have more severe nerve-related hearing loss that won't get better,” Quesnel said, and may require the use of a hearing aid. Since injuries can take weeks or months to heal, the extent of permanent damage will not be known for some time, she added.

A British study examining 12 patients who suffered ear injuries in a 1992 bomb blast on the famous London Bridge found that the three who had ear drum tears still had signs of hearing loss three years later.

Tinnitus can occur alongside these injuries as well as on its own. Described by many sufferers as a persistent pulse beat, whooshing sound, or high-pitched ring, the condition is thought to result from damage to sound-detecting hair cells in the inner ear and has been seen to occur frequently in those near bombings.

The Finnish researchers found that two-thirds of 29 patients who were treated for ear injuries after the mall bombing had tinnitus and that many also had hearing loss, pain in their ears, and sound distortion. Of the nine patients who developed tinnitus without ear drum injuries in the British bombing, seven found that the ringing in their ears had stopped by four weeks.

While tinnitus that results from exposure to a loud explosion is usually temporary, it can sometimes last for weeks, months, or even years -- and does not have a cure.

“Steroid drugs are a possible treatment, but it’s controversial because studies conflict on whether the drugs are actually helpful,” Quesnel said. Some patients try white noise machines or music to distract the brain from the inner sounds.

Hearing aids and relaxation treatments may also help bring some relief, according to the American Tinnitus Association.

Those near the marathon blasts who are experiencing tinnitus do not necessarily require medical treatment if they have no other symptoms, Quesnel said. “If they are experiencing severe hearing loss, they should see a doctor immediately, but it the tinnitus is mild and seems to be getting better, I’d give it a few days to see if it resolves on its own.”

0
Johnloudb

Registered:
Posts: 1,951
Reply with quote  #2 
I really feel for the people of West Texas too. I remember hearing on the news about the girl and her father who were filming the fire about 300 meters away, when plant blew. She said I can't hear ... Not a good week here for many people's ears, and some lives ... sad.
0
saab1216

Registered:
Posts: 394
Reply with quote  #3 
I bet all of us here,were thinking the same thing John. How awful.
0
Rob

Registered:
Posts: 4,049
Reply with quote  #4 

From the New York Daily News
April 18, 2013


Boston
marathon bombing: Area hospitals treat victims for ear injuries 

Scores of patients have been admitted to Boston-area hospitals for ear trauma since Monday's bombing. Experts warned others experiencing ringing or hearing loss to seek medical attention.

By Philip Caulfield / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Boston area hospitals have treated scores of patients for ear injuries and hearing damage in the wake of the bombing at the Boston Marathon, and medical experts worry that more cases could be on the way.

The massive blasts near the iconic race's finish line on Monday caused ear drum punctures, ear drum tears and nerve damage in runners and fans more than 100 feet away, hospital staffers and experts told The Boston Globe.

Tufts Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary all treated blast survivors for ear trauma, the Globe said.

Dr. Eric Smouha, an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Mount Sinai, told the Daily News that anyone still experiencing hearing loss or ringing in their ears should see a doctor immediately.

"You're dealing with a huge blast. It's not like you got slapped in the ear or a wave hit you. The energy and the sound level are huge," Smouha said.

"It depends how close or far away you are form the explosion, but in this kind of setting, the stakes are higher."

Pain wouldn't necessarily be a symptom, he said.

In instances of a brief, loud blast, the movement and pressure of air waves can tear the ear drum or cause damage to the hair cells in the cochlea that receive sound.

A ruptured ear drum can heal itself -- unless the edges of the tear have been scorched by heat or tiny embers, Smouha said -- or be reconstructed surgically.

Acoustic damage, or nerve damage, usually leads to hearing loss in the higher frequencies.

"An ear drum injury is fixable. A lot of those will heal on their own," Smouha said. "With the cochlea, there is nothing you can do. We give steroids, but it has to heal itself. Some hearing damage will be reversible and some will not."

According to Mass. Eye and Ear's website, anyone with blood or fluid leaking from their ear or "facial drooping or weakness" should also see a doctor as soon as possible.

.
0
Rob

Registered:
Posts: 4,049
Reply with quote  #5 
From the American Tinnitus Association

Hundreds of people were in close proximity to the deafening bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon on Monday, and many have been treated at local hospitals for serious ear injuries. But hearing specialists say an untold number of other people could be suffering from hearing loss or ringing in their ears, called tinnitus, though they did not seek out medical help immediately.

Tufts Medical Center, which has treated a number of admitted patients for ear drum punctures and nerve damage, expects to eventually see outpatients with milder hearing problems, said Susan McDonald a senior audiologist at Tufts Medical Center.

Several patients visited Brigham and Women’s Hospital on Tuesday and Wednesday for hearing problems, as well as non-urgent shrapnel wounds. A spokeswoman said all had been discharged.

High-energy sound waves from an explosion can damage the ear by destroying nerve cells or ripping through the delicate eardrum tissue that separates the outer ear from the middle ear.

“Many of the patients with hearing loss that we’re treating were right by the bomb site, but it’s possible that less severe effects have occurred in those who were 100 feet or more away from the blast,” said Dr. Alicia Quesnel, an otologist at Mass. Eye and Ear, which has seen at least a dozen patients

0
Rob

Registered:
Posts: 4,049
Reply with quote  #6 
Transcript from NPR Affiliate WBUR in Boston

 

Marathon Bombing Victims Suffer Ear Injuries From Blast

 

April 18, 2013

 

BOSTON — Seared in the public’s consciousness over the past several days are reports and images of the grievous leg injuries suffered by many of the Marathon bombing victims. In fact, there have been at least 13 amputations since the attacks. But many people hurt in the attack also received serious ear injuries, including some that have affected their hearing.

Dr. Alicia Quesnel, an ear specialist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, has treated more than a dozen bombing victims with hearing-related injuries. She spoke to WBUR’s All Things Considered host Sacha Pfeiffer and described the wounds she is seeing.

Dr. Alicia Quesnel: Most of the injuries that I’ve seen have been problems with hearing loss and then problems with ruptured ear drums or holes in the ear drums that have been created literally from the blast traumas. And there have been a lot of patients who, unfortunately, are missing parts of the ear drums or there are large tears in the ear drums. That’s mostly what we’ve been seeing, and they have hearing loss as a result of that.

Sacha Pfeiffer: Would you walk through the anatomy of an ear or an ear drum? There’s some membrane, a protective membrane? So describe what the injuries can be to that anatomy.

So if you think about the ear from the outside in, you have what we call the oracle or the external part of the ear, and some patients have burns or trauma to the outside part of the ear. There’s the ear canal, and some patients have had lacerations or cuts or injuries we’re seeing in the external canal that need to be cleaned out and removed.

As you keep going inwards, the hearing works by vibrating an ear drum and three little bones that need to vibrate to transmit sound energy into the inner ear. We’ve seen tears in the ear drum and then hearing loss related to the inner ear structure also related to the impact and, literally, the loud, tremendous sound exposure.

So some of the injuries are because of lacerations caused by foreign objects or shrapnel, but some are from the sound of the explosion itself?

Exactly.

How does that injury happen and what is the damage being caused to an ear by a noise that’s basically too loud?

Either literally direct blast trauma to the ear drum, which has caused it to rupture, so literally the mechanical force of a loud sound can cause the ear drum to rupture or tear. And then, in addition, patients can also develop what we call a sensorineural hearing loss, or an inner ear hearing loss, related to the loud sound and the impact of that loud sound onto the inner ear.

For some of these patients, they may have experienced a hearing loss that lasted for a half-hour, an hour, a couple hours, and recovered after that. Sometimes it can last up to a week. But what we know from a lot of research is actually that that can have a long-term effect on hearing down the road in terms of what their hearing ends up being like from acoustic trauma.

How do you treat these injuries?

It depends on the specific nature of the injury. But, for example, we talked about external canal lacerations. That would really just be cleaning it out and starting some antibiotic ear drops to make sure patients don’t develop an infection related to that. With the ear drums that have been ruptured or have holes in them, sometimes those will heal on their own and, actually, with traumatic perforations, which these are, they may heal on their own. It really depends on the size of the hole that’s created. Larger holes are not as likely to heal on their own. Very small perforations are quite likely to heal on their own. When they don’t heal on their own, down the road, a couple months down the road, if they haven’t healed on their own we can actually fix this surgically and repair the hearing in that way.

But there could be some patients from Monday whose hearing will never be the same?

Right. There could be some patients with sensorineural hearing loss that won’t recover.

In any normal situation these would be considered very serious injuries, but because they’re being viewed relative to leg amputations some people may not realize that these injuries are as serious as they are. Do you think that’s fair to say?

I think that’s certainly fair to say. You have to put it into context in terms of what else the patient is going through. These patients are devastated from many other injuries, and both emotionally and physically. And certainly this is one of their issues that we’re dealing with and trying to help them in any way that we can with that.

Oftentimes we’re able to provide some good news, which is that for most of these patients I think they’re going to end up having a problem with the mechanical part of their hearing, which is the ear drum, which will either heal on its own or be something that we can actually fix surgically rather than end up with a lot of long-term issues from it.

Are there some patients who are not only dealing with leg injuries but also ear injuries?

That’s right. A lot of the patients have multiple wounds or issues from the trauma.

0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.



This message board is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for any medical advice. MANDATORY BOARD ETIQUETTE: 1. No personal attacks. 2. No profanity or use of inappropriate usernames. 3. No self solicitation of goods or services. 4 No discriminatory remarks based on race, gender, or religion. 5. Prohibitive postings include the following: discussing or suggesting the intent to end one's life, moderating or actions made by the moderators, and/or revealing personal information (full names, address, phone number). Rule infraction may result in either a warning or ban, depending on the severity. Kindness matters.