Preventing Hearing Loss.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susan L. Phillips, Assistant Professor (Creator)
Sandra Mace, Music Research Institute Program Coordinator (Contributor)
Jennifer Stewart Walter, Assistant Professor (Contributor)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Faculty and students in schools of music spend major portions of their time in environments (e.g., practice rooms, rehearsal rooms, and teaching studios) with sound levels that may put them at risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). NIHL is caused by exposure to loud sound levels, typically for prolonged and/or repeated periods of time. NIHL is characterized by a sharp decrease in hearing sensitivity between 3000-6000 Hz, called a noise notch, with a return to better sensitivity at the frequencies above the notch. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines acoustic overexposure with a time/intensity trade-off. NIOSH recommendations state that 85 decibels (dB) is a sound level sufficient to warrant a hearing protection program. Their recommendations suggest that an individual may be exposed to 85 dB for 8 hours without risk to hearing damage, which is equal to a 100% dose of noise for that day. For every 3 decibels increase in intensity, the time allowed for exposure is cut in half. Anything over a 100% dose per day exceeds the NIOSH guidelines for noise exposure and may put someone at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. The following studies were undertaken with music students and faculty members to determine the amount of noise exposure musicians were experiencing in their daily routines.

Additional Information

Proceedings from the National Association of Schools of Music 2006 Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois
Language: English
Date: 2008
Schools of music, Sound levels, Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL)

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