The study is aimed to quantify the effects of social noise exposure (personal music players (PMP), events with high noise exposure) and the exposure to the other environmental noise sources in the selected sample of Slovak university students. The validated ICBEN methodology was used to assess noise annoyance. The measurement of ambient noise levels was done using hand-held sound level analyzer. There were 526 university students (143 males and 383 females, average age 23±2.2) enrolled into the study so far, 192 in the exposed housing facility to road traffic noise and 326 in the control housing facility in Bratislava. The social noise exposure was quantified and followed according to the authorized methodology of the study Ohrkan. From the total sample 416 (79.4%) students reported the use of PMP in the last week for the average time of 314 minutes. There was a significant difference in PMP use between the exposed (85.34%) and the control group (76.31%) (p = 0.01). Among PMP users 28.1% exceeded the LAV (lower action value for industry = 80 dB). The results showed the importance of road traffic and the social noise as well and the need for prevention and intervention in these vulnerable groups.
The aim of the study was to determine the configuration of pathologic audiograms in patients with excessive noise exposure, and to calculate the frequency of notches in the audiogram in patients with and without excessive noise exposure by avoiding the effect of age-related hearing loss. We have analyzed 514 audiograms of 257 patients aged between 20 to 50 years: 240 patients (mean age of 38.7 years) with excessive noise exposure and 17 patients (mean age of 41.2 years) with notches in the audiogram, but without a history of excessive noise exposure. For statistical data analysis we have used the Chi-square test and Fisher exact test with the level of significance p < 0.05. Pathologic audiograms were classified into five different types: Slope at 4000 Hz (0.8%), Slope at 2000 Hz (15.1%), Notch at 4000 Hz (67.4%), Notch at 2000 Hz (0.8%), Flat (8.9%), and 7% were out of this classification. A total of 190 (79.2%) patients with excessive noise exposure had a notch in the audiogram. Left ear notches were the most common. Among the patients with notched audiograms, 91.8% had a history of excessive noise exposure, either occupational or nonoccupational, and 8.2% did not report any excessive noise exposure.