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  Citation statistics : Table of Contents
   2011| January-February  | Volume 13 | Issue 50  
    Online since December 15, 2010

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Hearing loss among classical-orchestra musicians
Esko Toppila, Heli Koskinen, Ilmari Pyykkö
January-February 2011, 13(50):45-50
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.74001  PMID:21173486
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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Noise exposure of musicians of a ballet orchestra
Cheng Liang Qian, Alberto Behar, Willy Wong
January-February 2011, 13(50):59-63
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.74002  PMID:21173488
With over 70 dancers and its own orchestra, The National Ballet of Canada ranks amongst the world's top dance companies. It performs three seasons annually: fall, winter and summer, plus many shows of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. The 70-strong orchestra plays an average of 360 hours/year including rehearsals and performances. Rehearsals are held at two locations: one in a ballet rehearsal room with little or no absorption, and the other in an acoustically treated location. Performances are held in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. The present survey was done at the request of the National Ballet, since the musicians complained of excessive sound levels and were concerned about possible hearing losses. The survey was performed using five dosimeters Quest Mod 300 during 10 performances of the ballet Romeo and Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev, deemed as the noisiest in the whole repertoire. Results of the survey indicate that the noise exposure levels from only the orchestra's activities do not present risk of hearing loss. Exposure due to other musical activities was, however, not included.
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Preferred sound levels of portable music players and listening habits among adults: A field study
Kim R Kahari, T Åslund, J Olsson
January-February 2011, 13(50):9-15
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.73994  PMID:21173482
The main purpose of this descriptive field study was to explore music listening habits and preferred listening levels with portable music players (PMPs). We were also interested in seeing whether any exposure differences could be observed between the sexes. Data were collected during 12 hours at Stockholm Central Station, where people passing by were invited to measure their preferred PMP listening level by using a KEMAR manikin. People were also asked to answer a questionnaire about their listening habits. In all, 60 persons (41 men and 19 women) took part in the questionnaire study and 61 preferred PMP levels to be measured. Forty-one of these sound level measurements were valid to be reported after consideration was taken to acceptable measuring conditions. The women (31 years) and the men (33 years) started to use PMPs on a regular basis in their early 20s. Ear canal headphones/ear buds were the preferred headphone types. Fifty-seven percent of the whole study population used their PMP on a daily basis. The measured LAeq60 sec levels corrected for free field ranged between 73 and 102 dB, with a mean value of 83 dB. Sound levels for different types of headphones are also presented. The results of this study indicate that there are two groups of listeners: people who listen less frequently and at lower, safer sound levels, and people with excessive listening habits that may indeed damage their hearing sensory organ in time.
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Vuvuzelas at South African soccer matches: Risks for spectators' hearing
Lebogang Ramma, Lucretia Petersen, Shajila Singh
January-February 2011, 13(50):71-75
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.73995  PMID:21173490
South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches are known worldwide as some of the noisiest recreational events. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to i) measure noise levels during different PSL matches; ii) measure changes in auditory function after attending PSL matches; and iii) determine the factors that increase the risk of overexposure to noise during PSL matches. The study used a descriptive quantitative analytical pre- and post-exposure design. Participants (n = 19, and n = 10) attended two PSL matches. Each participant's auditory function was assessed using distortion product oto-acoustic emissions (DPOAEs) before and after attending a PSL match. Peak and equivalent continuous noise levels as well as noise dose were measured during each match. Noise levels recorded during the poorly attended Match 1 were lesser than those of the well-attended Match 2. Participants attending Match 2 had statistically significant reduction in their DPOAE amplitudes after the match (P = 0.003) than those attending Match 1. Vuvuzela blowers and participants seated within 1 m from them were most at risk of harm to their hearing with significant reduction in DPOAE amplitudes post the match (P = 0.002 and P = 0.008, respectively). It was therefore concluded that noise levels at well-attended South African PSL matches pose a significant risk to spectators' auditory function as shown by reduced DPOAE amplitude post match attendance. Three risk factors for overexposure to noise during the match were identified: blowing the vuvuzela, close proximity to the individual blowing the vuvuzela as well as spectator turnout at the match.
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Noise sensitivity and hearing disability
Marja Heinonen-Guzejev, Tapani Jauhiainen, Heikki Vuorinen, Anne Viljanen, Taina Rantanen, Markku Koskenvuo, Kauko Heikkilä, Helena Mussalo-Rauhamaa, Jaakko Kaprio
January-February 2011, 13(50):51-58
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.74000  PMID:21173487
The aim of this study was to investigate the association of noise sensitivity with self-reported hearing disability and hearing levels, with consideration of the role of self-reported history of noise exposure and use of hearing protectors. The study is based on the Finnish Twin Cohort. In 1988, a noise questionnaire was sent to 1005 twin pairs, 1495 individuals (688 men, 807 women) replied. The age range was 31-88 years. Information on some potential confounders was obtained from the questionnaire in 1981 for the same individuals. A subsample of thirty-eight elderly women with noise sensitivity response from 1988 had audiometry data from 2000 to 2001. Noise sensitivity was associated with self-reported hearing disability among all subjects [odds ratio (OR) 1.55, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.14-2.12] and among women (OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.19-3.04), but no-more significantly among men (OR 1.31, 95% CI 0.86-1.98). The association was primarily seen among younger subjects (50 years or less). The difference between noise sensitive and non-noise sensitive elderly women in the average of thresholds at frequencies of 0.5-4 kHz in the better ear was not significant (Pr = 0.18). Noise sensitivity did not modify the association of hearing disability with the self-reported history of occupational noise exposure. Noise sensitivity was associated with the use of hearing protectors at work. The study shows the importance of recognizing the noise sensitive in noise effect studies, since sensitivity in annoyance has implications in most of the effect categories.
  5 4,784 39
Occupational exposure to noise and the prevalence of hearing loss in a Belgian military population: A cross-sectional study
Audrey Collee, Catherine Legrand, Bernadette Govaerts, Paul Van Der Veken, Frank De Boodt, Etienne Degrave
January-February 2011, 13(50):64-70
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.73997  PMID:21173489
The armed forces are highly exposed to occupational noise. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and noise exposures associated with the severity of hearing loss (HL) in a Belgian military population. A cross-sectional study was carried out at the Centre for Medical Expertise (CME) and in four Units of Occupational Medicine (UOM). Hearing thresholds were determined by audiometry. The examination included a questionnaire on hearing-related medical history, and noise exposure in military and leisure time activity. A multinomial logistic regression model was used to assess the association of the severity of HL with tinnitus, with the military occupation, and with noise exposures. Of the 2055 subjects aged 18-55 years, 661 (32.2%) had a slight HL (25-40 dB), 280 (13.6%) had a moderate HL (45-60 dB) and 206 (10.0%) had a severe HL (>60 dB) of 4 and 6 kHz for both ears. The prevalence of slight, moderate and severe HL increased significantly with age and was higher for subjects from Paracommando and infantry units. Fighting in Built-Up Area (FIBUA) training, shooting with large caliber weapons, and participation in military exercises were the best determinants of HL in this population. These results suggest that subjects from infantry and Paracommando units run the highest risk of HL because they are exposed to very loud noises in their professional life, like large caliber shooting and FIBUA training.
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The sound of operation and the acoustic attenuation of the Ohmeda Medical Giraffe OmniBed TM
Stephanie M Wubben, Paul M Brueggeman, Dennis C Stevens, Carol C Helseth, Kristen Blaschke
January-February 2011, 13(50):37-44
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.73999  PMID:21173485
The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is an environment that provides premature and fragile infants with health provisions needed to make a complete recovery. Premature infants are often born before their auditory systems have had an opportunity to fully mature. Research has shown that the ambient acoustic environment in the NICU exceeds the maximum noise level recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, even after measures have been taken to decrease noise levels. The purpose of this study is to evaluate noise levels inside an Ohmeda Medical Giraffe TM OmniBed TM , the natural attenuation of the incubator, and the effects of modifications on attenuation and reverberation within the Giraffe TM OmniBed TM . The normal operation of the Giraffe TM OmniBed TM is 41.7 dBA which indicates a lower noise of operation than previous studies. The Giraffe TM OmniBed TM naturally attenuates 12 dBA. Leaving an access latch or portal door open causes a statistically significant (P=.001) increase in sound within the bassinet. All modifications in the no-noise and the noise conditions showed a statistically significant (P=.001) drop in Leq when compared to baseline.
  4 5,883 51
The possible influence of noise frequency components on the health of exposed industrial workers - A review
KV Mahendra Prashanth, Sridhar Venugopalachar
January-February 2011, 13(50):16-25
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.73996  PMID:21173483
Noise is a common occupational health hazard in most industrial settings. An assessment of noise and its adverse health effects based on noise intensity is inadequate. For an efficient evaluation of noise effects, frequency spectrum analysis should also be included. This paper aims to substantiate the importance of studying the contribution of noise frequencies in evaluating health effects and their association with physiological behavior within human body. Additionally, a review of studies published between 1988 and 2009 that investigate the impact of industrial/occupational noise on auditory and non-auditory effects and the probable association and contribution of noise frequency components to these effects is presented. The relevant studies in English were identified in Medknow, Medline, Wiley, Elsevier, and Springer publications. Data were extracted from the studies that fulfilled the following criteria: title and/or abstract of the given study that involved industrial/occupational noise exposure in relation to auditory and non-auditory effects or health effects. Significant data on the study characteristics, including noise frequency characteristics, for assessment were considered in the study. It is demonstrated that only a few studies have considered the frequency contributions in their investigations to study auditory effects and not non-auditory effects. The data suggest that significant adverse health effects due to industrial noise include auditory and heart-related problems. The study provides a strong evidence for the claims that noise with a major frequency characteristic of around 4 kHz has auditory effects and being deficient in data fails to show any influence of noise frequency components on non-auditory effects. Furthermore, specific noise levels and frequencies predicting the corresponding health impacts have not yet been validated. There is a need for advance research to clarify the importance of the dominant noise frequency contribution in evaluating health effects.
  2 10,095 49
A study on the contribution of body vibrations to the vibratory sensation induced by high-level, complex low-frequency noise
Yukio Takahashi
January-February 2011, 13(50):2-8
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.73993  PMID:21173481
To investigate the contribution of body vibrations to the vibratory sensation induced by high-level, complex low-frequency noise, we conducted two experiments. In Experiment 1, eight male subjects were exposed to seven types of low-frequency noise stimuli: two pure tones [a 31.5-Hz, 100-dB(SPL) tone and a 50-Hz, 100-dB(SPL) tone] and five complex noises composed of the pure tones. For the complex noise stimuli, the sound pressure level of one tonal component was 100 dB(SPL) and that of another one was either 90, 95, or 100 dB(SPL). Vibration induced on the body surface was measured at five locations, and the correlation with the subjective rating of the vibratory sensation at each site of measurement was examined. In Experiment 2, the correlation between the body surface vibration and the vibratory sensation was similarly examined using seven types of noise stimuli composed of a 25-Hz tone and a 50-Hz tone. In both the experiments, we found that at the chest and the abdomen, the rating of the vibratory sensation was in close correlation with the vibration acceleration level (VAL) of the body surface vibration measured at each corresponding location. This was consistent with our previous results and suggested that at the trunk of the body (the chest and the abdomen), the mechanoreception of body vibrations plays an important role in the experience of the vibratory sensation in persons exposed to high-level low-frequency noise. At the head, however, no close correlation was found between the rating of the vibratory sensation and the VAL of body surface vibration. This suggested that at the head, the perceptual mechanisms of vibration induced by high-level low-frequency noise were different from those in the trunk of the body.
  1 5,186 47
Evaluation by industrial workers of passive and level-dependent hearing protection devices
Jennifer B Tufts, Mark A Hamilton, Amanda J Ucci, James Rubas
January-February 2011, 13(50):26-36
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.73998  PMID:21173484
Level-dependent hearing protection devices (HPDs) provide protection from intense sound, while offering amplification for speech and other signals in lower levels of noise. These HPDs have been developed in response to the communication and operational needs of noise-exposed persons in industry and the military. This study was conducted to examine industrial workers' perceptions of the performance of two level-dependent HPDs (one with integrated radio communication capability and one without it) and their customary passive HPDs. This research took place at a plastic film manufacturing plant in Rhode Island, USA, following a mixed-measures design. Fifteen maintenance technicians at the plant evaluated the two level-dependent HPDs, plus their customary passive HPDs, in three separate trial periods. Data were collected via a questionnaire designed for this purpose. Mixed-model analyses of variance were performed on all dependent measures. Linear and quadratic effect sizes were assessed with eta. Results revealed that the two level-dependent HPDs offered better perceived communication and situational awareness than the workers' customary passive HPDs. However, the level-dependent HPDs were rated lower than the passive HPDs in terms of usability and comfort. To increase workers' acceptance of level-dependent HPDs, usability issues must be addressed by the HPD manufacturers.
  1 5,283 32
Analysis of army-wide hearing conservation database for hearing profiles related to crew-served and individual weapon systems
William A Ahroon, Melinda E Hill, Dennis P Goodes
January-February 2011, 13(50):76-83
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.73992  PMID:21173491
Damage-risk criteria (DRC) for noise exposures are designed to protect 95% of the exposed populations from hearing injuries caused by those noise exposures. The current DRC used by the US military follows OSHA guidelines for continuous noise. The current military DRC for impulse exposures follows the recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council Committee on Hearing, Bioacoustics, and Biomechanics (CHABA) and are contained in the current military standard, MIL-STD-1474D "Noise Limits." Suggesting that the MIL-STD for impulse exposure is too stringent, various individuals have proposed that the DRC for exposure to high-level impulses be relaxed. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the current hearing status of US Army Soldiers, some of whom can be, by their military occupational specialties (MOS), reasonably expected to be routinely exposed to high-level impulses from weapon systems. The Defense Occupational and Environmental Health Readiness System - Hearing Conservation (DOEHRS-HC) was queried for the hearing status of enlisted Soldiers of 32 different MOSs. The results indicated that less than 95% of the Soldiers in the DOEHRS-HC database were classified as having normal hearing. In other words, the goal of the DRC used for limiting noise injuries (from continuous and impulse exposures) was not stringent enough to prevent hearing injuries in all but the most susceptible Soldiers. These results suggest that the current military noise DRC should not be relaxed.
  1 7,056 42
Welcome to the 50 th issue of the Journal
Deepak Prasher
January-February 2011, 13(50):1-1
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.73991  PMID:21173480
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