What is TTS (Temporary Threshold Shift)?
TTS, or temporary threshold shift, is a temporary hearing loss that occurs after exposure to loud noise. It is caused by damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. The hair cells are responsible for converting sound waves into electrical signals that are sent to the brain. When the hair cells are damaged, they are less sensitive to sound, which results in hearing loss.
What is temporary threshold?
The temporary threshold is the minimum sound level that a person can hear after exposure to loud noise. It is usually higher than the person’s normal hearing threshold. The temporary threshold increases as the intensity of the noise increases and as the duration of the exposure increases.
What are the symptoms of TTS?
The symptoms of TTS include:
- Muffled hearing
- Feeling of fullness in the ears
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Difficulty understanding speech
What is the difference between TTS and PTS (Permanent Threshold Shift)?
TTS is temporary, while PTS is permanent. TTS usually resolves within a few hours or days, while PTS can last for weeks, months, or even years. PTS is caused by more severe damage to the hair cells in the inner ear.
Can TTS last for weeks?
In rare cases, TTS can last for weeks. This is usually seen in people who have been exposed to very loud noise, such as a bomb blast or a gunshot.
How is TTS diagnosed?
TTS is diagnosed by an audiologist. The audiologist will perform a hearing test to measure the person’s hearing thresholds before and after exposure to loud noise. If the hearing thresholds are higher after exposure to noise, then the person has TTS.
How is TTS treated?
There is no treatment for TTS. The only way to improve hearing is to give the hair cells time to heal. This usually takes a few hours or days. However, if the TTS is severe or if it lasts for a long time, the person may need to wear hearing aids.
How can I prevent TTS?
The best way to prevent TTS is to avoid exposure to loud noise. If you must be exposed to loud noise, wear earplugs or earmuffs. You should also take breaks from loud noise every 15-30 minutes.