- According to a study from researchers in Southern California, the noise level in nightclubs may increase a person’s risk of noise-induced hearing loss.
- The study found the average continuous level of noise in nightclubs is at least 91.2 dBA, which can cause serious health concerns.
- The physicians at AOC want to educate readers about the possible health risks that can come from frequent exposure to loud noises.
Hearing loss has become an increasingly popular topic in the health care space, especially since more and more people are suffering from this condition at younger ages. According to researchers from Southern California, a person’s lifestyle choices may lead to early onset hearing loss. In the past, we wrote about the negative health effects frequent headphone use could have on a person’s hearing. In that blog, which can be read here: Can Headphones Cause Hearing Loss?, we shared some statistics about hearing loss in young adults.
For example, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) discovered one in five teens today experiences some level of hearing loss. While headphones aren’t necessarily the direct cause of this phenomenon, it is possible that a combination of lifestyle factors are causing premature hearing loss in teens and young adults. That’s what the researchers from Southern California wanted to find out in their study regarding noise levels in nightclubs.
During the study, researchers visited five nightclubs across Southern California between the hours of 11 PM and 2AM on the weekends. To ensure these nightclubs were assessed fairly, each club had to meet specific criteria for the researchers. For this study, each nightclub had to have a bathroom, dance floor, outside area, seating section, and bar areas. Within each club, the sound levels were measured by a special device called the 2260 Investigator (by Bruel & Kjaer). The noise was measured at 1-minute intervals and each area of the nightclub was measured three consecutive times.
The results from this study can be found in the otology/neurotology section of the SAGE Journals, here. The scientists concluded that the sound levels in most nightclubs exceed safe exposure levels set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). While there are “safe zones” in nightclubs with lower noise levels, like the bathroom and outside areas, the areas with the highest levels of sound could cause serious damage to a person’s hearing. This may not come as a surprise to many, but these higher noise level areas included the bar and dance floor areas.
Patrons may have a lower risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss if they limit their time at nightclubs. However, the people who are at the greatest risk of this condition are the employees of these establishments. Unfortunately, these people are exposed to exceedingly loud noise levels frequently, so they have a much higher risk of suffering from noise-induced hearing loss. Currently, NIOSH recommends people spend no more than three minutes being exposed to sound at 107 dBA and no more than two hours at 91 dBA. The study found the average continuous level of noise in nightclubs is at least 91.2 dBA, so it’s imperative people remain conscientious of their exposure to sound levels that high.
To learn more about your risk of noise-induced hearing loss, or if you want to talk to an AOC physician about treatment options for early onset hearing loss, call the practice today! Our team would be happy to schedule an appointment for you to ensure you receive the best possible treatment for you hearing loss. Call 602-264-4834 to schedule an appointment today!
Arizona Otolaryngology Consultants (AOC) is a comprehensive ENT clinic that provides care for all diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses. The physicians at AOC have the highest level of training and expertise in ENT care and ENT subspecialty care, which includes the management of pediatric airway, cancer, skull base surgery, advanced head and neck surgical and reconstructive procedures, craniofacial surgery and more. Call 602-264-4834 to request an appointment today!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.