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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 65  |  Page : 246--252

Auditory risk assessment of college music students in jazz band-based instructional activity


1 Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, College of Music, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA
2 UNT College of Music Texas Center of Music and Medicine, College of Music, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA

Correspondence Address:
Kamakshi V Gopal
P.O. Box 305010, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203-5010
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.113520

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It is well-known that musicians are at risk for music-induced hearing loss, however, systematic evaluation of music exposure and its effects on the auditory system are still difficult to assess. The purpose of the study was to determine if college students in jazz band-based instructional activity are exposed to loud classroom noise and consequently exhibit acute but significant changes in basic auditory measures compared to non-music students in regular classroom sessions. For this we (1) measured and compared personal exposure levels of college students (n = 14) participating in a routine 50 min jazz ensemble-based instructional activity (experimental) to personal exposure levels of non-music students (n = 11) participating in a 50-min regular classroom activity (control), and (2) measured and compared pre- to post-auditory changes associated with these two types of classroom exposures. Results showed that the L eq (equivalent continuous noise level) generated during the 50 min jazz ensemble-based instructional activity ranged from 95 dBA to 105.8 dBA with a mean of 99.5 ± 2.5 dBA. In the regular classroom, the L eq ranged from 46.4 dBA to 67.4 dBA with a mean of 49.9 ± 10.6 dBA. Additionally, significant differences were observed in pre to post-auditory measures between the two groups. The experimental group showed a significant temporary threshold shift bilaterally at 4000 Hz (P < 0.05), and a significant decrease in the amplitude of transient-evoked otoacoustic emission response in both ears (P < 0.05) after exposure to the jazz ensemble-based instructional activity. No significant changes were found in the control group between pre- and post-exposure measures. This study quantified the noise exposure in jazz band-based practice sessions and its effects on basic auditory measures. Temporary, yet significant, auditory changes seen in music students place them at risk for hearing loss compared to their non-music cohorts.






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