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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 50  |  Page : 45--50

Hearing loss among classical-orchestra musicians


Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland

Correspondence Address:
Esko Toppila
Topeliuksenkatu 41, 00170 Helsinki
Finland
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.74001

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This study intended to evaluate classical musicians' risk of hearing loss. We studied 63 musicians from four Helsinki classical orchestras. We measured their hearing loss with an audiometer, found their prior amount of exposure to sound and some individual susceptibility factors with a questionnaire, measured their present sound exposure with dosimeters, and tested their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, then compared their hearing loss to ISO 1999-1990's predictions. The musicians' hearing loss distribution corresponded to that of the general population, but highly exposed musicians had greater hearing loss at frequencies over 3 kHz than less-exposed ones. Their individual susceptibly factors were low. Music deteriorates hearing, but by less than what ISO 1999-1990 predicted. The low number of individual susceptibility factors explained the difference, but only reduced hearing loss and not the prevalence of tinnitus.






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