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June 1992

Editorial Introduction

Author Affiliations

Baltimore, Md

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1992;118(6):581. doi:10.1001/archotol.1992.01880060029008

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Otolaryngologists are well aware of the underrecognition that exists with regard to physical and acoustic trauma to the ear and surrounding temporal bone. By virtue of the important sensory, neural, and vascular structures housed within the temporal bone, trauma to this region can produce a broad constellation of symptoms, many of which bear heavily on an individual's ability to conduct everyday activities and effectively communicate. Temporal bone trauma frequently compromises the quality of life, cancels human productivity, and may be associated with loss of life. This form of violence causes injury that carries immeasurable costs to society at large, and considerable psychosocial impact on the victim.

Awareness of the problem of noise exposure in young adult populations has been slow to evolve. While the notion of staying "forever young" is prevalent in our society, young adults as a whole have only recently recognized that noise exposure accelerates the process of

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