UNIVERSITY OF MALTA LIFE SCIENCE RESEARCH SEMINARS Web: http://events.um.edu.mt/scisem/ Email: [email protected] Abstract form Title: The clinical effects caused by major and minor head injury on the human ear involving the sense of hearing and balance Presenter: Dr Anthony J Fenech M.D., M.Sc (Audiol. Med) (Lond)., PhD (ENT) Contact address: Apartment 10 ‘Mar Ligure’ Triq iz-Zonqor Marsascala MST 1017 Tel: 79604688 Fax: Email: [email protected] Presentation date: 21 April 2008 Abstract This study was performed in two parts: in the first part, 24 patients admitted with major head injury mostly involving the petrous temporal bones (17 due to fall from height, 7 involved in a motor vehicle accident) were investigated. Their age varied between 16 years to 62 years and were collected over a five year period. Each patient had an urgent CT scan on admission and was repeated several times in due course. They were all fully investigated audiologically and were followed up on an out-patient’s basis for two more follow-ups which varied between four months to four years. It was found that hearing loss became permanent after the first year post trauma while tinnitus, vestibular and facial complications improved over time. Besides, the severity of the head injury must be high to cause cochlear concussion and the sensori-neural hearing loss was due to damage to the outer hair cells of the cochlea which in turn were the generators of otoacoustic emissions. In the second part of the study, a total of 50 patients admitted to hospital with minor to moderate head injury were investigated audiologically. Their age varied between 4 months to 30 years and were studied over a seven month period. It was found that none of the patients suffered any form of cochlear concussion in the first 24 hours post head injury or in the following weeks leading to the second follow up of 6 weeks.