Aging after noise exposure: Acceleration of cochlear synaptopathy in “recovered” ears

Noise exposure = bad.

The synaptopathic noise (100 dB) caused 35–50 dB threshold shifts at 24 h. By 2 weeks, thresholds had recovered, but synaptic counts and ABR amplitudes at high frequencies were reduced by up to ∼45%. As exposed animals aged, synaptopathy was exacerbated compared with controls and spread to lower frequencies. Proportional ganglion cell losses followed. Threshold shifts first appeared >1 year after exposure and, by ∼20 months, were up to 18 dB greater in the synaptopathic noise group. Outer hair cell losses were exacerbated in the same time frame (∼10% at 32 kHz).