Vogel et al (2009) examined noise exposure in clubs and discos and found loudness is often between 104 and 112 dBA. The authors note auditory damage is possible after only five minutes exposure to 112 dBA and after only 30 minutes exposure at 104 dBA. Phillips, Henrich, and Mace (2010) evaluated 329 student musicians. Two hundred and eighty-two reported not using hearing protection. Those who used hearing protection (n=47) used it less than half the time. Forty-five percent of the students demonstrated noise induced hearing loss.
Flamme, Stephenson, Deiters and colleagues (2012) evaluated noise exposure of 286 adults (mean age 41 years) across 73,000 person hours of noise monitoring. The authors determined roughly half the study participants were exposed to noise loud enough to produce noise induced hearing loss. Gender, occupation, and history of noise exposure on the job were significantly correlated to overall average sound levels. However, age, educational level, and history to non-occupational noise sources were not. Of note, many participants had occupations not traditionally considered noisy, yet these same participants had substantial noise exposure.
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Baigi A, Oden A, Almlid-Larsen V, Barrenas ML, Holgers KM. (2011) Tinnitus in the General Population With a Focus on Noise and Stress - A Public Health Study. Ear & Hearing. 32(6):787-789.
Beck DL. (2011) Hearing Aid Amplification and Tinnitus: 201. Hearing Journal 64(6):12-14
Flamme GA, Stephenson MR, Deiters K, Tatro A, VanGessel D, Geda K, Wyllys K, McGregor K. (2012) Typical Noise Exposure in Daily Life. International Journal of Audiology 51:S3-S11.
Phillips SL, Henrich VC, Mace ST. (2010) Prevalence of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Student Musicians. International Journal of Audiology 49(4):309-316.