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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-32

High frequency hearing loss in students used to ear phone music: A randomized trial of 1,000 students

Department of Ear Nose and Throat, Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, Bellur, Mandya, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Kiran Naik
Department of Ear, Nose and Throat, Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, B. G. Nagar, Nagamangala Taluk, Bellur, Mandya - 571 448, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-7749.129808

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Introduction: Hearing loss is often thought of as a natural phenomenon of the aging process. However, studies are beginning to show that hearing loss is becoming increasingly more common amongst younger people. Approximately, 20-30 million people between the ages of 20 and 69 years have high frequency hearing loss due to chronic exposure to loud noise above 90 decibels (dB) thanks to the advent of MP3 players and cellphones, according to the National Institute of Deafness. [1] If you are one of the millions who enjoys listening to a MP3 player or cellphone music to allay boredom or to pass time, then you might be at risk for hearing loss from headphones or earphones. Studies have shown that most MP3 players today can produce sounds up to 120 dB and that long-term cell phone use to hear music may cause damage in the inner ear. In today's society, these devices are indispensible and are part of day-to-day life. Hence, this study was conducted to create awareness regarding prolonged exposure to loud noise either through an MP3 player or cell phone music. Materials and Methods: A total of 1,000 students from Shri Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences and Adichunchanagiri Institute of Technology and Adichunchanagiri Pre-university College were chosen as part of the study. They were divided into four groups, Group A comprising 250 students who had a habit of listening to music through ear phones at least 2 h a day, Group B comprising 250 students who are used to earphone music less than 1 h per day and Group C comprising of 250 students who very occasionally use ear phones, but hear music mostly through speakers and Group D comprising of 250 students who are usually unaware of ear phone music and are not used to it. All the groups were subjected to pure tone audiometry and the audiogram obtained. Results and Observations: The study revealed high frequency hearing loss in 8% of Group A and 2% in Group B; whereas, in there were no hearing impairment in Groups C and D indicating a significant role of prolonged ear phone music as a cause of high frequency hearing loss in students. The thin percentage and absence of hearing loss in Groups B, C, and D suggests the impact of the duration of exposure also has a role in the pathology. Conclusion: This study proves beyond doubt that the prolonged usage of loud ear phone music is harmful to the ears and a simple way of pass time by hearing to ear phone music might cause hearing loss.

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