Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Environmental Factors in Susceptibility to Noise-induced Hearing Loss in Student Musicians

Susan L. Phillips, Julie Shoemaker, Sandra T. Mace, Donald A. Hodges
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 23 Number 1: Page 20 (March 2008)

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Abstract: Hearing threshold and survey data collected over 3 years in a university school of music indicate that 52% of undergraduate music students show declines in high-frequency hearing at 6000 Hz consistent with acoustic overexposure. Declines at 4000 Hz have grown in number over the 3 years, from 2% the first year to 30% in the third year. These 'noise notches' are seen in all instrument groups, including voice, and are seen more in the right ear than the left ear in all groups. Exposure to outside noise does not appear to be a determining factor in who develops these declines. It is concluded that genetic predisposition is a likely risk factor.

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