Date of Degree

5-2018

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Au.D.

Program

Audiology

Advisor(s)

Barbara Weinstein

Subject Categories

Speech Pathology and Audiology

Keywords

sound engineers, music induced hearing disorders, dosimetry, audiology, hearing loss, questionnaire for sound professionals

Abstract

Numerous studies have assessed the risk of hearing injury for musicians and other sound professionals due to excessive sound exposure, however no studies have investigated whether audio post-production engineers have this same risk. This preliminary study first measured 23 participants’ hearing thresholds and prevalence of audiometric notches. Second, a questionnaire, the Questionnaire for Sound Professionals (QUSP), was designed and administered to determine whether correlations between audiometric status and self-perception of hearing loss and hearing disorders existed. Third, sound dosimetry measurements were conducted at film audio post-production studios to assess whether this population is at risk for permanent hearing loss due to the level and duration of sound exposure. Results indicated that the majority of participants had at least one audiometric notch with normal hearing thresholds. No statistically significant correlations between QUSP scores and binaural mean hearing thresholds, age, years worked as an engineer or years as a musician were found. Dosimetry results were, overall, inconclusive due to the high variability of typical workday activities and small number of days surveyed (9 days). However, preliminary results suggest that there is a low risk of permanent hearing loss due to sound exposure for the specific activities that were performed (according to NIOSH criteria). Additionally, though personal dosimetry suggests these professionals are not at risk for permanent hearing loss, continuous equivalent average sound levels did exceed 85 dBA at times, and peaks, thought not formally measured in this study, are known in this industry to regularly exceed 130 dB SPL, therefore all audio post-production engineers should undergo routine, audiometric evaluations and employ additional hearing conservation strategies such as hearing protection in order to prevent hearing loss and hearing disorders.

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