Poster Title

pEARcussionists: Hearing Loss in the High School Band

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Secondary School

Institution

Project Lead The Way - Kentucky

KY House District #

13

KY Senate District #

8

Abstract

Frequent exposure to loud noises can damage hair cells in the inner ear, leading to sensorineural hearing loss. Though it can be caused by a variety of factors, the most common reason is noise induced hearing loss or NIHL. Musicians are greatly susceptible to NIHL, with a reported prevalence ranging from 38‐50%. We sought to determine the prevalence of NIHL among high school percussionists. We tested hearing loss among percussionists (n=10) and non‐percussionists (n=7) with a questionnaire and online hearing test. We hypothesized that the percussionists would score lower on the tests in comparison to non‐percussionists. We analyzed our results using t‐tests and bar graphs with standard error. Per our results, high school percussionists do show more hearing loss; they scored significantly lower than the non‐percussionist group on average and on 4 of the 6 frequencies tested. Despite a musician’s critical reliance on his or her ears, ear protection is scarcely used. Our study provides more evidence of the need of high school percussionists to protect their hearing. We propose instrumenting a hearing protection program in high school music departments to help prevent hearing loss.

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pEARcussionists: Hearing Loss in the High School Band

Frequent exposure to loud noises can damage hair cells in the inner ear, leading to sensorineural hearing loss. Though it can be caused by a variety of factors, the most common reason is noise induced hearing loss or NIHL. Musicians are greatly susceptible to NIHL, with a reported prevalence ranging from 38‐50%. We sought to determine the prevalence of NIHL among high school percussionists. We tested hearing loss among percussionists (n=10) and non‐percussionists (n=7) with a questionnaire and online hearing test. We hypothesized that the percussionists would score lower on the tests in comparison to non‐percussionists. We analyzed our results using t‐tests and bar graphs with standard error. Per our results, high school percussionists do show more hearing loss; they scored significantly lower than the non‐percussionist group on average and on 4 of the 6 frequencies tested. Despite a musician’s critical reliance on his or her ears, ear protection is scarcely used. Our study provides more evidence of the need of high school percussionists to protect their hearing. We propose instrumenting a hearing protection program in high school music departments to help prevent hearing loss.