This study was designed to determine whether the sympathetic nervous system exerts a protective or enhancing effect in acoustic overstimulation. The compound action potential of the cochlea (CAP) was recorded in guinea pigs while the cervical sympathetic nervous system (SNS) was electrically stimulated or after it was surgically eliminated. The stimulation or the elimination of the cervical SNS has no effect on the threshold of CAP. The threshold shift in CAP after acoustic overstimulation (110, 115, or 130 dB SPL for 10 min) was measured in the cervical SNS stimulation group, in the cervical SNS elimination group, and in the control group. When the animal was under insufficient sedation, there was no difference among these three groups. However, the CAP threshold shift was significantly smaller in the cervical SNS stimulation group than in the other two groups when the animals were sufficiently sedated. The cervical SNS stimulation had some protective effect on the susceptibility to acoustic trauma when the systemic SNS activity was suppressed.