2pAAa7. Can noise levels at school gymnasia cause a hearing loss: A case study of a physical education teacher.

Session: Tuesday Afternoon, June 17

Author: Tao Jiang
Location: Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Clinic, 5599 Fenwick St., Halifax, NS B3H 1R2, Canada


There is mounting evidence that noise is widespread at schools. Poor acoustic conditions affect speech and academic performance. Noise can be detrimental to teachers. Recent research has found noise at schools can become a hazard to the hearing. Unacceptable noises at gymnasia have been documented. Nevertheless, cases are rare that teachers are at risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Presented is a case study of a physical education (PE) teacher diagnosed with NIHL. The audiologic evaluation indicates a bilateral sensorineural hearing loss characterized by a typical noise notch. To rule out presbycusis, the ISO 1999 standard is utilized. Consequently, medical and audiological evaluations have confirmed his NIHL. To investigate its cause, a noise study was conducted in the gymnasium. The noise levels ranged between 72 and 119 dBA during classes. Dosimetry recorded L[inf Aeq 8h] 90.8 dB(A) with the peak at 125 dB. The calculated dose exceeded the safety limit by 300%. Furthermore, to determine in situ noise levels of blowing whistles used by PE teachers, a real-ear analysis was performed using a probe microphone. The whistle noise reached 130 dB at the tympanic membrane. In conclusion, the teacher has developed a NIHL caused by hazardous noises associated with his teaching work. [See NOISE-CON Proceedings for full paper.]

ASA 133rd meeting - Penn State, June 1997