Implications of blast exposure for central auditory function: A review

Frederick J. Gallun, M. Samantha Lewis, Robert L. Folmer, Anna C. Diedesch, Lina R. Kubli, Daniel J. McDermott, Therese C. Walden, Stephen A. Fausti, Henry L. Lew, Marjorie R. Leek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Auditory system functions, from peripheral sensitivity to central processing capacities, are all at risk from a blast event. Accurate encoding of auditory patterns in time, frequency, and space are required for a clear understanding of speech and accurate localization of sound sources in environments with background noise, multiple sound sources, and/or reverberation. Further work is needed to refine the battery of clinical tests sensitive to the sorts of central auditory dysfunction observed in individuals with blast exposure. Treatment options include low-gain hearing aids, remote-microphone technology, and auditory-training regimens, but clinical evidence does not yet exist for recommending one or more of these options. As this population ages, the natural aging process and other potential brain injuries (such as stroke and blunt trauma) may combine with blast-related brain changes to produce a population for which the current clinical diagnostic and treatment tools may prove inadequate. It is important to maintain an updated understanding of the scope of the issues present in this population and to continue to identify those solutions that can provide measurable improvements in the lives of Veterans who have been exposed to high-intensity blasts during the course of their military service.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1059-1074
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2012


  • Auditory dysfunction
  • Auditory processing disorder
  • Blast
  • Central auditory dysfunction
  • Central auditory processing
  • Central auditory system
  • Hearing loss
  • Rehabilitation
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Veteran

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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