Noise Levels Among Spectators at an Intercollegiate Sporting Event Purpose The intensity of noise levels in a basketball arena during games, as well as the hearing sensitivity of attendees, was measured for the purpose of assessing the impact of the noise on hearing thresholds. Method Noise levels at 10 intercollegiate basketball games were measured with a dosimeter ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 2014
Noise Levels Among Spectators at an Intercollegiate Sporting Event
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Beau England
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Jeffery Blythe Larsen
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Jeffery Blythe Larsen: jeffery.larsen@usu.edu
  • Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 2014
Noise Levels Among Spectators at an Intercollegiate Sporting Event
American Journal of Audiology, March 2014, Vol. 23, 71-78. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0071)
History: Received November 25, 2012 , Revised May 31, 2013 , Accepted June 27, 2013
 
American Journal of Audiology, March 2014, Vol. 23, 71-78. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0071)
History: Received November 25, 2012; Revised May 31, 2013; Accepted June 27, 2013

Purpose The intensity of noise levels in a basketball arena during games, as well as the hearing sensitivity of attendees, was measured for the purpose of assessing the impact of the noise on hearing thresholds.

Method Noise levels at 10 intercollegiate basketball games were measured with a dosimeter affixed on the shoulders of attendees. Hearing thresholds and distortion product otoacoustic emissions were measured for 20 participants just before attending a basketball game and within an hour of the end of the game to determine whether changes in hearing thresholds resulted from exposure to the sound levels within the arena during the games.

Results Participants demonstrated temporary shifts in pure-tone thresholds and reductions in the intensity of their otoacoustic emissions after attendance at 1 of the basketball games. Dosimeter measurements showed that noise at 6 of the 10 basketball games exceeded acceptable intensity levels when compared with a national workplace noise exposure standard.

Conclusion Although noise intensities, on average, did not exceed workplace exposure standards, universities would be wise to be proactive in warning spectators about the potential dangers of noise exposure at sporting events, make earplugs available to interested spectators, and implement a hearing conservation program for employees working in noise.

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