Document Type

Capstone Project

Publication Date

Spring 3-31-2020

First Advisor

Antony Joseph, MA, AuD, PhD, CCC-A, CPS/A, F-NAP

Abstract

The primary aim of this project was to characterize the sound exposure of faculty musicians at a university music department, specifically for hearing loss prevention purposes. Sound measurements were obtained as a major portion of the project to calculate the risk for over-exposure to hazardous sound intensities. Excessive sound exposure can cause permanent injury to the human auditory system. This type of injury is diagnostically classified as noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus. To verify risk-exposure status, dosimeters were used to sample a variety of accessible musician training environments. Sound samples obtained from personal noise dosimetry instrumentation were used to obtain common noise metrics, such as A-weighted decibel (dBA) intensity level, time-weighted average, and peak sound pressure level. During group rehearsals and private lessons, our measurements indicated that faculty musicians were exposed to sound levels in excess of 85dBA (the damage-risk criterion level used by most countries, except the United States). At times, students and faculty were exposed to sound intensities in excess of 90dBA. These surveillance samples were plotted and interpreted to provide appropriate recommendations for faculty musicians. To deliver hearing-loss prevention to all workers affected by hazardous sound, our national policies, hearing conservation programs, and hearing-health wellness should be revised and mandated for professional musicians.

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