Diagnostic Audiology Program
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)
The links below play sound files that have been processed to allow you to listen to a song with both normal hearing and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) of varying degrees. Stay tuned for more song clips of different genres! The severity of the NIHL depends on both the intensity (how loud) and the duration (how long) a person listens. For instance, listening to high-level music for 4 hours per day puts you at greater risk than listening at that same high-level for 2 hours per day. These simulations are based on predictions of hearing loss that are accepted by the American National Standards Institute (S3.44-1996), and are processed through software called "Hearing Loss and Prosthesis Simulator (HeLPS)" developed by Sensimetrics Corporation, Malden, MA. These simulations are based on the best available research to date.
Read more about this simulation program and the science behind its development at Sensimetrics HeLPS page
Click on the link to one of the sound files marked as "normal hearing" and adjust the volume of your computer speakers to a comfortable level (about the level of a conversation). Don't touch the volume control then for the rest of the sound files- any change in how loud or clear the music sounds is how NIHL would make the music sound. If you hear a high-pitched hiss, that's "tinnitus," which is another auditory injury from overexposure to sound.
|Rolling Stones, normal hearing|
|Rolling Stones, listening for 2 hours per day at 90% of maximum volume on an MP3 player|
|Roling Stones, listening for 4 hours per day at 90% of maximum volume on an MP3 player|
|Rolling Stones, severe NIHL with tinnitus|