Recent advances in the field of audiology have indicated that there has been a growing concern regarding the potential damage to the hearing mechanism induced by recreational noise exposure from personal music devices (PMD). Regular PMD use may have a long-term damaging effect on the outer- and inner hair cells of the cochlea which may result in a progressive hearing loss. As PMDs have advanced to a stage where the memory of the devices are able to contain hours of listening content, the environments where these devices are being used are rapidly expanding. Many young adults tend to use their PMDs whilst exercising. Exercise in itself induces physiological and metabolic changes such as increased blood flow and oxygen levels within the structures of the cochlea.
The purpose of this study was to determine the differential impact and short-term effects of simultaneous cardiovascular workout and personal music device (PMD) use on the otoacoustic emissions of young adults. Seven female and five male subjects completed three testing conditions: (i) one hour exposure to PMD use in isolation, (ii) one hour exposure to cardiovascular workout in isolation, and (iii) one hour simultaneous exposure to PMD use and cardiovascular workout. Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) were conducted prior to, as well as directly following each testing condition, as primary indicator of cochlear responses emitted through a preset stimulus frequency sequence measuring the 2f₁ - f₂ (75 – 70 dB SPL) and constructing a plot of DPOAE levels as a function of frequency.
While each of the testing conditions on its own did not result in statistically significant changes of the DPOAE response, a highly significant different profile in the DPOAE response level increase/decrease for the higher frequencies (6-8 kHz) was obtained when comparing the different sessions to each other. Where exposure to cardiovascular workout showed a clear trend of an increased DPOAE response level between the pre-exposure and post-exposure testing from 2 kHz to 8 kHz with a maximum increase at 6 kHz, both the music only condition and the combined condition where the cardiovascular workout was combined with music resulted in a significant different profile. During combined exposure a clear trend of decreased DPOAE response amplitudes between the pre-exposure and post-exposure testing were seen for the higher frequencies. These findings may support the notion of a clear effect of cardiovascular workout on the otoacoustic emissions at higher test frequencies, measured by DPOAEs when performed with and without music exposure.
Dissertation (MLOG)--University of Pretoria, 2015.