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Soundwave shock

March 18, 2015

George Lianos speaking with Dr Kumiko Orimoto

In late November, George Lianos and his wife attended a concert by heavy metal band, ACCEPT. It was a memorable night, but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. A few days after the concert, George started experiencing extreme pain.

“I had loud ringing in my ears, especially in my right ear, to a point where it was unbearable,” George said.

“The noise was a combination of sirens, ringing and hissing — I also experienced headaches and some vertigo.”

George presented to the Eye and Ear’s Emergency Department, where he saw Dr Kumiko Orimoto, an Ear, Nose and Throat Medical Officer.

At the music concert, George was standing next to a speaker.

Dr Orimoto says this is the likely cause of his symptoms which lead to a diagnosis of acoustic shock.

“Acoustic shock occurs following exposure to a loud, unexpected sound. It can cause tinnitus, fullness, popping ear and dizziness,” Dr Orimoto said.

George added: “The acoustic shock basically kept me from sleeping for a few weeks because of the pain, discomfort, tinnitus and headaches.”

Although George describes the experience as traumatic, he praised the Eye and Ear’s Emergency Department.

“Considering I was going through a very difficult time, the Eye and Ear’s Emergency staff were very comforting, very assuring and advised me what to expect from my experience.”

George decided to write a compliment about his experience. An excerpt: I would like to express deep thanks to the team at the Eye and Ear for the fantastic work…Please pass on this message to staff. They do a fantastic job. Thank you so much to all for caring.

What is acoustic shock?
Acoustic shock is a physiological and psychological shock response from exposure to a sudden, brief and unexpected loud sound. The sound is usually high pitched, such as microphone feedback, screeches, shrieks, alarm signals, loud music, whistles, and public address system squeals; however acoustic shock can occur after any type of loud sound.