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  Patronage of the Polish Society of Audiology and Phoniatrics

vol 12. no 4. December 2013  

 Review articles
Personal music players use and hearing loss
Mariola Śliwińska-Kowalska

In recent years the number of individuals listening to music
through Personal Music Players (PMPs) significantly increased.
Nowadays, up to 88-90% of teenagers declare they use them.
Even though loud music is not a noise by definition, the scale of
this phenomenon must raise a question about the influence of the
auditory organ to such exposures. The aim of this paper was to
summarize current knowledge regarding the safety of the PMPs
use in relation to hearing loss and tinnitus. The articles published
in recent years indicate that the mean levels of listening to music
by the youth range from 68 to 86 dBA, and depend on background
noise, type of earphones, and type of music. The mean time
of listening to music through PMPs also differs significantly and
ranges from few minutes to up to 12 hours a day. Taking into
account the level and time of exposure, 17-29% of PMPs users
might be at risk of developing hearing loss. In fact, 5-20% of
teenagers and young adults have a high frequency hearing loss
that may indicate an acoustic trauma, but this rate has remained
stable over the last 20-30 years. A worrisome observation is an
increase of hearing threshold shifts in teenage girls, in parallel
to an increased use of PMPs in this group of individuals. As the
dynamic of noise-induced hearing loss development is very
slow, it can be anticipated that the overexposures to music in
young ages may result in significant hearing threshold shifts in
later years of life. Much greater concern arises from the data
on the prevalence of tinnitus in teenagers. It was shown that in
those overexposed to music its rate is four time higher than in
the not exposed group. Preventive action should be taken for
teenagers and young adults to reduce their exposure to loud
music listen through the PMPs.

keywords: ryzyko, szumy uszne, redukcja hałasu, SCENIHR, risk, tinnitus, noise reduction, SCENIHR

pages: from 155 to 160

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