Prevalence of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Student Musicians

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sandra Mace, Music Research Institute Program Coordinator (Creator)
Susan L. Phillips, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This study describes the prevalence and characteristics of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in student musicians (N = 329) aged 18–25 years. Students completed a questionnaire regarding exposures before a hearing assessment. NIHL was defined by the presence of a notch 15 dB in depth at 4000 or 6000 Hz relative to the best preceding threshold. Overall prevalence of NIHL was 45%, with 78% of notches occurring at 6000 Hz. The proportion of the total population with bilateral notching at any frequency was 11.5%, mostly occurring at 6000 Hz. There was a significant increase in the frequency of notching in students who reported more than two hours per day of personal practice. There were no significant associations for instrument group or other noise exposures. The data suggest that susceptibility to NIHL among students of music is not uniform and cannot be ascribed solely to the instrument played and other exposures. Students with bilateral losses tend to have deeper notches and may represent a group that has an inherent predisposition to NIHL.

Additional Information

International Journal of Audiology, 49, 4: 309-316
Language: English
Date: 2010
Noise-induced hearing loss, Music-related hearing loss, Prevalence of hearing loss, Predisposition

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