Early detection of music-induced hearing loss through a comparison of transient evoked and distortion product otoacoustic emission data among university music and non-music majors with normal hearing


Author/Creator ORCID




Towson University. Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf Studies


Citation of Original Publication




Otoacoustic emission (OAE) tests are clinically valuable measures of peripheral auditory function. Early detection of music-induced hearing loss was the focus of this study to determine if musicians are at a greater risk of cochlear dysfunction due to their frequent exposure to loud sounds compared to non-exposed individuals. This study was designed to explore any significant differences between pure tone audiometry, OAE testing, and auditory side effects among non-music and music major university students with normal hearing. Tinnitus was found in all subgroups, except male music majors who did not report any tinnitus symptoms. Results suggested a relationship between better hearing sensitivity and cochlea function with lack of tinnitus. No ear effects were found among the different testing measures. However, music majors were found to have higher DPOAE SNR thresholds compared to their non-music peers, indicating musical experience did not lead to testing decreases. The effects of recreational music usage was explored as a potential risk factor for both music and non music majors. Suggestions for future research include using larger sample sizes and monitoring hearing abilities in noise exposed population due to increase of recreational music exposure.