[In Process Citation]
Journal/Book: Laryngorhinootologie. 1999; 78: 614-9.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Hearing loss resulting from exposure to permanent or repeated amplified music in professional musicians and music consumers is described in literature. The risk of hearing loss does not exist only after prolonged exposure to music. Short-term exposure to very high sound levels, for example in concerts, can also cause hearing loss and tinnitus. PATIENTS: The retrospective study includes 24 patients who required rheologic therapy between 1994 and 1997 due to a music related accoustic trauma. The type, intensity, and length of music exposure as well as the distance and the position to the source of noise were examined. The type of hearing damage and its development during rheological treatment was studied by pure-tone audiometry. RESULTS: In the majority of examined patients (67%) the hearing loss developed on the basis of one-time exposure at a rock concert or pop concert, followed by hearing loss from attending discotheques (17%) or parties (12%), and music exposure from personal cassette players (4%). The majority of patients showed a maximum hearing loss of 40-60 dB (A) in a frequency between 3 kHz and 4 kHz. Pure-tone audiometry in 58% of the patients exhibited a unilateral threshold in a frequency between 3 kHz and 4 kHz combined with ipsilateral tinnitus of the same frequency. Twenty-one percent of the patients showed a symmetric bilateral threshold and tinnitus between 3 kHz and 4 kHz. In 8% there was a unilateral tinnitus, and in 13% a bilateral tinnitus without any hearing loss. All patients improved their hearing loss during rheologic treatment. Improvement in the tinnitus was only achieved in 33% of the examined cases. CONCLUSION: The risk of permanent hearing loss resulting from short-term exposure to amplified music is low compared to the risk of continuous tinnitus. Given the lack of acceptance of personal ear protectors, the risk of acute hearing damage due to amplified music could be reduced by avoiding the immediate proximity to the speakers.