What is Vibroacoustic Disease?

Vibroacoustic disease is a medical condition manifested in those who have had long-term exposure (more than ten years) to large pressure amplitude (more than 90 dB) and low-frequency noise (LFN) less than 500 Hz. (source) This disease can affect the whole body, including your hearing. Thickened heart tissue is the primary symptom of VAD which can lead to arrhythmias and death in extreme cases. Other symptoms of this disease include depression, increased irritability, aggressiveness, a tendency for isolation, and decreased cognitive skills.

Occupations at high risk for VAD include:

  • aircraft technicians
  • DJs
  • commercial & military pilots
  • machinists
  • restaurant workers

In addition, sources of low-frequency noise that place people at risk for developing vibroacoustic disease include:

  • rock concerts
  • dance clubs
  • “powerful” audio equipment
  • water jet skies
  • motorcycles

Three Stages of Vibroacoustic Disease (VAD)

Depending upon the amount of exposure to low-frequency noise, the symptoms of VAD occur in three stages:

  • Stage 1 (mild). The signs in this stage occur between one to four years of exposure to low-frequency noise. Slight mood swings, indigestion, heartburn, and mouth and throat infections are frequent. (source)
  • Stage 2 (moderate). The moderate stage of VAD typically begins between four to ten years of exposure. Chest pain, mood swings, back pain, fatigue, fungal infections, viral infections, inflammation of the stomach lining, blood in urine, conjunctivitis, and allergies. (source)
  • Stage 3 (severe). Severe symptoms define VAD when a person has more than ten years of exposure to low-frequency noise. Psychiatric disturbances, nasal hemorrhaging, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, duodenal ulcers, spastic colitis, decrease in visual acuity, headaches, severe joint pain, muscular pain, neurological disturbances, epilepsy, balance disorders, stroke, and heart attack. (source)

How is Vibroacoustic Disease Diagnosed?

An echocardiogram can give a preliminary diagnosis of VAD, which can be scheduled through your primary care doctor. The echocardiogram visualizes the thickening of the cardiac structures, primarily the pericardium and the heart valves. This imaging may show thickened carotid arteries and abnormal cerebral blood flow. Blood tests can provide information on blood coagulation parameters, which tend to be unusual in VAD patients. Finally, an audiogram can measure an individual’s hearing loss at specific frequencies.

What You Should Know

Although most employers require hearing protection for workers who expose themselves to high noise levels, few are aware of the long-term effects of exposure to low-frequency noise. More studies are being done in order to bring attention to the harmful effects of low-frequency noise. If you expose yourself to low-frequency noise regularly, consider scheduling a hearing evaluation with a hearing healthcare professional.

Consult with the Hearing Experts at Kenwood Hearing Center

If you’d like to speak with one of our experienced hearing care professionals about hearing protection or get your hearing checked, we would be happy to help. Please contact us via our website in order to schedule an appointment.

Speak with a Specialist

Ready to start your journey to better hearing? Let our hearing care professionals find the right solution for you.

Schedule an Appointment

© 2021 Kenwood Hearing Center . All right reserved. | Privacy Policy

The purpose of this hearing assessment and/or demonstration is for hearing wellness to determine if the client(s) may benefit from using hearing aids. Products demonstrated may differ from products sold. Test conclusion may not be a medical diagnosis. The use of any hearing aid may not fully restore normal hearing and does not prevent future hearing loss. Testing is to evaluate your hearing wellness, which may include selling and fitting hearing aids. Hearing instruments may not meet the needs of all hearing-impaired individuals. One offer per customer. Insurance benefit, including Managed Care or federal reimbursements, cannot be combined with any of our promotional offers, coupons or discounts. Other terms may apply. See office for details.

Safety today and every day after – Toledo Office is Open

As a company focused on care, our team at Kenwood Hearing Center is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our customers and staff. Together with our communities, we pledge to do everything we can to ensure you have a safe visit as we honor our mission to help people hear better.

Our Response to COVID-19:

We are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all of our customers and office staff. To ensure your safety, and the safety of our associates, we have temporarily closed the doors to some of our offices. We apologize for any inconvenience, and we look forward to seeing you for your appointment at a nearby location or as soon as we can reopen.

If you have an appointment in one of these locations, we will contact you to reschedule.