Modern-day high performance aircraft are more powerful, more efficient, and, unfortunately, frequently produce high noise levels, resulting in noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in military aircrew. Military pilots are required to perform many flight duties correctly in the midst of many challenges that may affect mission completion as well as aircraft and aircrew safety. NIHL can interfere with successful mission completion. NIHL may also require aircrew to be downgraded from flying duties, with the incumbent re-training costs for downgraded personnel and training costs for new/replacement aircrew. As it is not possible to control the source of the noise without compromising the efficiency of the engine and aircraft, protecting the aircrew from hazards of excessive noise and treating NIHL are of extreme importance. In this article we discuss various personal hearing protection devices and their efficacy, and pharmacological agents for prevention and management of NIHL.
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