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Hearing Impairment in Orchestral Musicians


Copyright 2024, Mark Alan Wade

Primary Author: Ostri, B.
Journal Title: Scandanavian Audiology
Date Published: 1989
Language: English
Category: Hearing Loss
Key Words: hearing loss orchestra musician scandanavian
Full Citation: Ostri, B., et al. Hearing Impairment in Orchestral Musicians. Scandinavian Audiolology 18, no. 4 (1989): 243-9.
Full Abstract: Symphony orchestra musicians from The Royal Danish Theatre (15 females and 80 males) aged 22 to 64 years were audiologically examined to elucidate the presence and the frequency of noise-induced hearing loss among classical musicians. Compared to a reference material (ISO 7029) the median hearing thresholds of the musicians were increased for all age groups. When using hearing sensitivity in one or both ears less than 20 dB HL as a criterion for normality, it was found the 58% of the musicians had a hearing impairment. 50% of the males and 13% of the females showed a typical audiogram with a notched curve at higher frequencies normally attributed to occupational noise exposure. Furthermore, a significantly poorer hearing on the left ear was found at higher frequencies among the violinists. It is concluded that symphonic musicians suffer from hearing impairment and that the impairment might be ascribed to symphonic music.