Noise-Induced hearing loss among professional musicians

Source: Journal of Occupational Health
Published November 16, 2016

Objectives:

After presbycusis, noise exposure is considered the second cause of sensorineural hearing loss. Due to exposure to high-intensity sounds, musicians may be at risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Given the importance of good hearing in music career, this study aimed to investigate the frequency of hearing loss and use of protective measures among Iranian musicians.

Methods:

In this cross-sectional study, 125 musicians, including 21 women (16.8%) and 104 men (83.2%), with at least five years of work experience were recruited. All participants underwent clinical and audiometric examinations. Demographic data, complaints about hearing loss, and information about the use of protective devices were collected through interviews.

Results:

Audiometric notch in either one or both ears and bilateral hearing loss were present in respectively 42.4% and 19.2% of the participants. The history of tinnitus after performance and ear pain during performance was reported by 64 (51%) and 35 (28%) individuals, respectively. Less than 2% of the participants used hearing protection devices.

Conclusions:

Long-term exposure to loud sounds puts musicians at risk of hearing loss. However, due to their inadequate knowledge, most musicians never use protective devices to prevent damage to their auditory system.

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