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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 113  |  Page : 61--74

Evolution of hearing in young adults: Effects of leisure noise exposure, attitudes, and beliefs toward noise, hearing loss, and hearing protection devices


1 Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
2 Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent; Faculty of Education, Health and Social Work, University College Ghent, Ghent, Belgium

Correspondence Address:
MS, PhD Sofie Degeest
Ghent University Hospital, Corneel Heymanslaan 10 (poli 1 – 2nd floor), B-9000 Ghent
Belgium
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/nah.nah_7_21

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Context Young people expose themselves to high levels of noise during various leisure activities and might thus be at risk of acquiring hearing-related problems due to leisure noise exposure. Aim The aim of this study was to compare the hearing status, amount of leisure noise exposure, and attitudes and beliefs toward noise, hearing loss, and hearing protection devices (HPDs) in university students at the moment of their enrollment in higher education and after approximately 3 years. Settings and Design Thirty-four female university students were tested at the moment of their enrollment in higher education and after approximately 3 years. Method and Material Hearing was evaluated using pure-tone audiometry and transient evoked and distortion product otoacoustic emissions. A questionnaire was used to evaluate leisure noise exposure and attitudes and beliefs toward noise, hearing loss, and HPDs. Results There were significant differences after the 3-year period: a deterioration in hearing at some tested frequencies, an increase in the occurrence of temporary tinnitus after leisure noise exposure, an increase in noise exposure related to visiting nightclubs and music venues, and differences in attitudes and beliefs toward noise, hearing loss and HPDs. Conclusions More longitudinal studies are needed to evaluate the onset and progression of hearing loss due to leisure noise exposure. In the meantime, hearing conservation programs targeting young people should be optimized.






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