Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name





Barbara Weinstein

Subject Categories

Speech Pathology and Audiology


Temporary Tinnitus, Temporary Hearing Loss, Personal Listening Devices, Subjective Hearing Status, Noise induced Hearing Loss


Long term or brief exposure to loud noise can trigger the onset of noise-induced hearing loss which can lead to a temporary (TTS) or permanent (PTS) shift in hearing threshold. Occupational noise, or recreational noise such as music can contribute to shifts in hearing levels. Listening to music in person at a concert or when listening on earphones/earbuds and streaming from a smartphone can produce sound pressure levels (SPL) high enough to lead to PTS, TTS, and associated symptoms. A survey of adults was conducted to gain insight into onset of self-perceived temporary hearing loss and tinnitus after short term use of a personal listening device (PLD). The questionnaire was sent to individuals over 21 years of age who used their PLD for at least one hour to listen to any form of music. The survey was designed to assess standardized markers of hearing function such as temporary shift in hearing and temporary tinnitus after PLD use. The qualitative data revealed that a majority of respondents did not notice a TTS after one-hour exposure to music when streaming from a PLD such as a smartphone. While the data are preliminary and did not reveal onset of temporary perceived hearing loss during short term use, clinicians should educate their patients about safe listening habits and the effects of prolonged exposure to noise in the workplace, in educational settings, at concerts and when listening on PLDs.