Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Communicative Disorders


Otoacoustic emissions; Hearing disorders--Diagnosis; Musicians--Health and hygiene; Deafness; Noise induced


Because exposure to intense sound such as music, can be damaging to the auditory system, it would be beneficial to have sensitive measures to assess these early effects. These measures of early noise effects could prompt preventative techniques at the beginning of a musician’s career. Conventional pure-tone audiometry, the method used to currently assess damage to the auditory system, may not be sensitive enough to determine early noise damage. TEOAE’s may be a test which could detect damage sooner than conventional techniques. This study assessed differences in transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE’s) between musicians and non-musicians. Ten female individuals who played musical instruments for at least five years served as the experimental group and ten female individuals who never played musical instruments and had a limited amount of noise exposure served as the control group. These individuals were given a case history to assess amounts of previous sound exposure. Conventional pure-tone audiometry, tympanometry , and TEOAE’s were measured. One criteria for inclusion in the study was that hearing sensitivity was within the normal range and was not significantly different between groups. The objectives of this study were: (1) to determine if there were differences in TEOAE’s between the two groups despite normal pure-tone audiograms for all individuals, and (2) to establish a criterion which could determine that damage may have occurred. Results show that there was a significant difference in overall TEOAE response and reproducibility between groups. These results showed the greatest difference occurred in the mid-frequency region, although most noise damage detected by the pure-tone audiogram is higher frequency damage. This may be attributable to TEOAE sensitivity or differences between music and industrial noise. Because of large inter-subject variability, a single value could not be established beyond which damage to the ear is resumed.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [28]-30)


36 pages




Northern Illinois University

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