miércoles, 12 de junio de 2013

CDC - Noise-Induced Hearing Loss - Adolescent and School Health

CDC - Noise-Induced Hearing Loss - Adolescent and School Health

New Links on MedlinePlus

06/10/2013 10:13 AM EDT

Source: Center for Hearing and Communication
Related MedlinePlus Page: Noise
06/10/2013 10:13 AM EDT

Source: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders - NIH
Related MedlinePlus Page: Noise
06/10/2013 10:13 AM EDT

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Related MedlinePlus Page: Noise

Noise in Health Clubs Fact Sheet

Noise Threatens Hearing
Noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss in the 38 million people with impaired hearing in the United States, and health statistics suggest a trend that the incidence of hearing loss is occurring at younger and younger ages. Noise-induced hearing loss, though preventable, is permanent.
Are Health Clubs Too Loud?
Continued exposure to noise above 85 decibels (dBA), about the level of city traffic, over time, will eventually harm hearing. In general, the louder the sound, the less time required before hearing damage will occur. A study by Raymond H. Hull, Ph.D. (1991) found that 80% of the health clubs and spas consistently played music which exceeded 105 dBA over one hour periods and the intensity of the instructor's voice using an FM head-mounted transmitter averaged 5 dBA above this level. 60% of the health clubs and spas studied used music and FM-transmitted voice which exceeded 110 dBA. Sound levels in a few health clubs exceeded 120 dBA for 30-minute classes. These levels pose a serious risk to hearing. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Criteria Document (1998) recommends that the maximum exposure time in the workplace at 110 dBA is one minute and 29 seconds and at 120 dBA, the maximum exposure time would be only 9 seconds.
Pump up Your Muscles, Not the Volume
To ensure safe listening levels at your health club, the International Association of Fitness Professionals recommends that music intensity during group exercise classes should measure no more than 90 dBA. Additionally, they recommend that the instructor's voice should measure no more than 100 dBA. The Association urges facilities to place a sound level meter on a stand near the front or middle of the group exercise room to get a continuous measure of sound levels during class and that instructors should check the sound level meter often to determine safe levels. It is also important for instructors to use methods other than volume to motivate a class.
Getting Physically Fit - From Head to Toe
While you're working out, take these simple steps to make sure that you're not damaging your hearing:
  • Pay attention to the volume in your exercise classes - if it sounds too loud, it probably is.
  • Ask the instructor to turn down the volume in the class.
  • Request the Opinion Statement on Recommendations for Music Volume in Fitness Classes from the International Association of Fitness Professionals at 800-999-4332 and show this Fact Sheet and the Opinion Statement to the manager of your health club
  • When possible, move further away from speakers.
  • If using a personal stereo system with headphones, play the music at safe listening levels. Rule of thumb: If you cannot hear other people talking when you are wearing the headphones or if other people have to shout to you to be heard at three feet away while the headphones are on, it is too loud.
  • Wear adequate hearing protection, such as foam ear plugs or a variety of other types of ear plugs if the music sounds too loud.
  • Pay attention to the warning signs of a noise-induced hearing loss (a ringing or buzzing in the ears, a slight muffling of sounds or difficulty understanding speech immediately after exposure to noise) and have your hearing tested by a licensed audiologist.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Among Adults

See text version link for details of chart data [text version]
Note: Lower numbers are better.
This chart depicts the prevalence of likely noise-induced hearing loss from 2 time periods in adults (20–69 years) by race/ethnicity and sex (gender). Updated data will become available when the new NHANES 2011–2012 audiometric survey for adults is completed. Note: I = 95% confidence interval. Data are for adults who have an audiometric notch in both ears signifying probable noise-induced hearing loss. Data are age-adjusted to the 2000 standard population. Respondents were asked to select only one race prior to 1999. For 1999 and later years, respondents were asked to select one or more races. For all years, the categories black and white include persons who reported only one racial group and exclude persons of Hispanic origin. Persons of Mexican-American origin may be any race.
The 2010 target line represents the goal recommended by the Hearing Health group, which was discussed and approved by the Federal Interagency Working Group for Healthy People 2010.
Source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, NCHS, CDC. Chart created by the Health Promotion Statistics Branch, NCHS, CDC and the Epidemiology and Statistics Program, NIDCD, NIH. Posted in November 2012.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Hearing plays an essential role in communication, speech and language development, and learning. Even a small amount of hearing loss can have profound, negative effects on speech, language comprehension, communication, classroom learning, and social development. Studies indicate that without proper intervention, children with mild to moderate hearing loss, on average, do not perform as well in school as children with no hearing loss. This gap in academic achievement widens as students progress through school.1,2
An estimated 12.5% of children and adolescents aged 6–19 years (approximately 5.2 million) and 17% of adults aged 20–69 years (approximately 26 million) have suffered permanent damage to their hearing from excessive exposure to noise.3,4
Hearing loss can result from damage to structures and/or nerve fibers in the inner ear that respond to sound. This type of hearing loss, termed “noise-induced hearing loss,” is usually caused by exposure to excessively loud sounds and cannot be medically or surgically corrected. Noise-induced hearing loss can result from a one-time exposure to a very loud sound, blast, or impulse, or from listening to loud sounds over an extended period.

Preventing Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Hearing loss caused by exposure to loud sound is preventable.5 To reduce their risk of noise-induced hearing loss, adults and children can do the following:
  • Understand that noise-induced hearing loss can lead to communication difficulties, learning difficulties, pain or ringing in the ears (tinnitus), distorted or muffled hearing, and an inability to hear some environmental sounds and warning signals
  • Identify sources of loud sounds (such as gas-powered lawnmowers, snowmobiles, power tools, gunfire, or music) that can contribute to hearing loss and try to reduce exposure
  • Adopt behaviors to protect their hearing:
    • Avoid or limit exposure to excessively loud sounds
    • Turn down the volume of music systems
    • Move away from the source of loud sounds when possible
    • Use hearing protection devices when it is not feasible to avoid exposure to loud sounds or reduce them to a safe level5
  • Seek hearing evaluation by a licensed audiologist or other qualified professional, especially if there is concern about potential hearing loss


  1. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Effects of Hearing Loss on DevelopmentExternal Web Site Icon. Rockville, MD: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
  2. Bess FH, Dodd-Murphy J, Parker RA. Children with minimal sensorineural hearing loss: prevalence, educational performance, and functional status. Ear and Hearing 1998;9:339–354.
  3. Niskar AS, Kieszak SM, Holmes AE, Esteban E, Rubin C, Brody DJ. Estimated prevalence of noise induced hearing threshold shifts among children 6 to 19 years of age: The third national health and nutritional examination survey. 1988-1994, United States. Pediatrics 2001;108:40–43.
  4. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Quick StatisticsExternal Web Site Icon. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; August 2008.
  5. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Noise Induced Hearing Loss. Bethesda, MD: April 2007. NIH Pub No. 97-4233.

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