Wieslaw J. Sulkowski 1, A,E,   Krzysztof Kochanek 1, A-B,E,   Anna Jalocha-Kaczka 2, F,   Kalina Owczarek 2, C,   Jurek Olszewski 2, C  
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Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, Warsaw, Poland
Department of Otolaryngology, Laryngological Oncology, Audiology and Phoniatrics,Medical University of Lodz, Poland
A - Research concept and design; B - Collection and/or assembly of data; C - Data analysis and interpretation; D - Writing the article; E - Critical revision of the article; F - Final approval of article;
Jurek Olszewski   

Jurek Olszewski, Department of Otolaryngology, Laryngological Oncology, Audiology and Phoniatrics, Medical University of Lodz, Żeromskiego 113, 90-549 Lodz, Poland, e-mail: jurek.olszewski@umed.lodz.pl
Publication date: 2020-04-09
J Hear Sci 2018;8(2):9–15
The study sought to evaluate the prevalence of hearing disorders in school-age children due to exposure to loud music.

Material and Methods:
A sample of 700 pupils from grammar and secondary schools in Poland, aged 13–18 years, were given otological and audiometric examinations. A questionnaire was used to gauge the frequency and duration of visits to discotheques or pop/rock music concerts and the use of personal audio players (PAPs).

The final sample consisted of 643 subjects, after excluding 57 pupils because of middle ear disease or other auditory pathology. They were divided into three groups according to the findings of the questionnaire: 131 not exposed (never attended discos/concerts or used PAPs); 169 mildly exposed (visits to discos/concerts once per month, PAPs 1–3 hours per day for 1–3 times per week); and 343 heavily exposed (discos/concerts 1–2 times per week, PAPs 4–7 hours per day for 4–7 times per week). In exposed groups a notched hearing loss of 25–60 dB at 4 or 6 kHz was identified in 18 pupils with mild exposure (10.7%) and in 56 with heavy exposure (16.3%). Of those showing the notch, 24 subjects (32.4%) complained of tinnitus.

Our study confirms that the apparently “beautiful noise” of loud music carries with it the risk of hearing loss and tinnitus, and so hearing screening and the promotion of healthy listening habits in school-age children are recommended.

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