Bar Hopping in the Name of Audiology
Spring Break has come and gone, and now I'm preparing for
both the AudiologyNOW! conference in Boston, MA,
as well as the home stretch of the semester. What did I do during my break? I
will confess that I slept eight hours nearly every night. Most every evening
was spent bar and club hopping. Sounds fun, right?
It was actually part of my research. As of tonight, my data
collection is finished! My topic is essentially assessing whether full-time
employees in night-life establishments are at-risk for permanent hearing loss.
I won't completely spoil the results, but those familiar with OSHA standards
may be surprised to know that many of the recorded sound levels came in below
the action level for exposure. Night-life establishments are subjected to OSHA
noise pollution regulations, though rarely enforced due to lack of manpower.
Despite the early indications of my results, I have no
question that other night-life establishments are soaring past the recommended
exposure levels. I believe that an additional interesting study would be
employee attitudes and knowledge towards the threat of noise-induced hearing
loss. Many that I came across throughout the week were 21-30 years of age. Are
they aware of the risks? Do they even care? Remember that our line of work
involves treatment of hearing loss, which includes prevention. It is important
to educate the younger populations on the troublesome implications that come
along with hearing impairment, even if it may seem that they don't want to hear