Research Article| Volume 37, ISSUE 3, P382-389, May 2023

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Rehearsal Sound Exposure and Choir Singers’ Hearing: A Pilot Field Study

  • Finola M. Ryan
    Address correspondence & reprint requests to: Finola M. Ryan, Charles Bell House, 43-45 Foley St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 7TY, United Kingdom
    Division of Surgery & Interventional Science, University College London, United Kingdom

    King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom
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  • Aikaterini Vardonikolaki
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
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  • Athanasios Bibas
    Address correspondence & reprint requests to: Athanasios Bibas, 1st Department of Otolaryngology, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Hippocration Hospital, 114 Vas Sofias Ave, 11527 Athens Greece.
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
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  • Doris-Eva Bamiou
    The Ear Institute/Faculty of Brain Sciences, University College London, United Kingdom

    Neuro-otology Department, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, United Kingdom

    Biomedical Research Centre, National Institute of Health Research, United Kingdom
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  • John S. Rubin
    Division of Surgery & Interventional Science, University College London, United Kingdom

    Royal National Ear, Nose and Throat, Nose and Eastman Dental Hospital, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, United Kindom

    School of Health Sciences, City, University of London, United Kingdom
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      Exposure to high- and moderate-intensity sound is inevitable for professional singers during their working day, the majority of which is spent in rehearsal, preparing for a performance. The impact of self-produced sound exposure on singers’ hearing within the rehearsal setting has not been examined. Objectives: This original pilot field study investigates the feasibility of data collection and hypothesis testing of singers’ hearing within the rehearsal environment. Methods: 18 professional choir singers are examined for hearing threshold changes following routine rehearsal sound exposure. Pure Tone Audiometry is measured before, immediately after, and approximately 24 hours after rehearsal. Results: This study does not identify definitive Temporary Threshold Shift in this population under these conditions. That said, mean temporary threshold shift was found 3.61 dB higher than the recovery threshold shift in the right ear at 3000 Hz (P = 0.06), and this may be important to look at for future studies. Conclusions: Methodological challenges of this field study include dynamic experimental conditions intrinsic to the rehearsal process, environmental and musical influence on Pure Tone Audiometry results and estimation of sound intensity exposure.

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