Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Risk of Hearing Loss in Orchestra Musicians: Review of the Literature

Alberto Behar, Willy Wong, Hans Kunov
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 21 Number 4: Page 164 (December 2006)

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Abstract: We reviewed 13 papers on noise exposure of orchestral musicians and found that the question of whether orchestra musicians are overexposed does not appear to have a clear answer. To find relevant papers, we researched three databases (Scholar, Scopus, and Medline), which yielded 6, 9, and 17 papers, respectively (including duplicates). A number of papers in the reviewed literature lacked basic descriptions concerning such issues as measurement technique and instrumentation. Rough data and calculation details were often not provided so that the conclusions could not be checked easily. The most serious problem was the estimated time that musicians performed in the orchestra. This information is crucial for the calculation of the normalized noise exposure levels (LEX), and is especially important as orchestra players do not perform year-round nor are they exposed to the same noise levels while performing different pieces of music.

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