Effect of Noises of Warfare on the Ear

Abstract

THE rapid development of high-explosive weapons of destruction and attack accompanied by increased blast effects has necessitated increased protection against the possibility of physical injury. The dangers of destructive effects on the sense organs though less obvious have become increasingly serious, and of these impairment of the sense of hearing is of considerable importance. The disturbances likely to endanger the aural and nervous system during bombardments or air raids consist mainly of intense sudden noises of an explosive character. Much information is available on the effect on the ear of these intense noises, and to a certain extent it is possible to minimize or mitigate possible damage to the aural system. Less intense sounds of longer duration which are sometimes referred to as ‘horrific noises’ and which the enemy have recently introduced as a form of aerial warfare can of themselves produce no damage to the ear. Their panic effect is a psychological one and is calculated to be enhanced by surprise when used without regularity.

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LITTLER, T. Effect of Noises of Warfare on the Ear. Nature 146, 217–219 (1940). https://doi.org/10.1038/146217a0

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