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Otorinolaringologia 2019 June;69(2):113-8

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-6621.18.02201-4

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Environmental noise and hearing loss

Andrea ALBERA

Unit of Otolaryngology, San Giuseppe Hospital, University of Milan, Milan, Italy



We are all living constantly surrounded by noise. It is present in the cities, in work environments and in every house, where we are subjected to sounds and music produced by radios, televisions, smartphones and headphones. The most annoying noise is the one produced by cars and public transportation, followed by music, sounds coming from TV and radio, conversations between groups of people and electrical appliances. Hearing loss is more pronounced in people living in urban context. Musicians, both modern and classical, frequently suffer from hearing loss although they do not often perceive symptoms. Also listening to music from portable audio players can expose people to peak levels of 120 dB HL, with regular listening equal to about 100 dB HL for prolonged periods. These kinds of sound exposure can produce at last hearing loss and could assume a relevant epidemiological effect. In conclusion, the noise existing in the environment where we live probably is one of the causes of a slight progressive increasing of hearing loss. This trend is more pronounced in those subjects professionally exposed to noise, although not only factory workers are nowadays at risk. It is necessary, therefore, to inform above all young people about the necessity to avoid exposure to loud noise.


KEY WORDS: Hearing loss, noise-induced - Environment - Noise

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