Hearing Preservation from Controlled Internal Jugular Vein Compression During Traumatic Noise Exposure

PI: Drs. Edward Lobarinas & Colleen LePrell

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a significant public health concern, especially for at-risk populations such as military personnel and workers exposed to occupational noise. Currently, 1 in 4 U.S. adults have hearing loss due to noise overexposure. This hearing loss can be temporary or permanent, although even temporary hearing loss may predispose an individual to eventual permanent hearing deficits. Internal jugular vein compression (IJVC) has been suggested as a potential treatment to prevent or diminish blast-induced hearing loss and traumatic brain injury (TBI), specifically to protect the brain against sport-related impact. Previous pre-clinical findings demonstrated protective effects of a IJVC collar from blast-induced hearing trauma. In the present study, we evaluated whether IJVC could also attenuate acoustic trauma induced by exposure to octave band noise. This study found evidence of some protection against temporary threshold shifts using IJVC collars suggesting the potential for reduction of permanent hearing loss.