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Article

Social Noise Exposure in a Sample of Slovak University Students

1
Institute of Hygiene, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, 81499 Bratislava, Slovakia
2
Institute of Medical Physics, Biophysics, Informatics and Telemedicine, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Sasinkova 2, 81372 Bratislava, Slovakia
3
Institute of Physiotherapy, Balneology and Medical Rehabilitation, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, 91701 Trnava, Slovakia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010324
Received: 29 November 2019 / Revised: 18 December 2019 / Accepted: 27 December 2019 / Published: 2 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adolescent and Young People's Health Issues and Challenges)
Purpose: Social noise exposure is currently an emerging problem in adolescents and young adults. Various leisure time activities may be responsible for hearing impairment (temporary or permanent hearing threshold shift or hearing loss). The study aimed to quantify environmental noise from various sources—voluntary (social) noise (personal music players (PMPs), high-intensity noise exposure events), and road traffic noise and to detect hearing disorders in relation to individual listening to PMPs in the sample of young adults living and studying in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. Methods: The study included 1003 university students (306 men and 697 women, average age 23.1 ± 2) living in Bratislava for 4 or more years; 347 lived in the student housing facility exposed to road traffic noise (LAeq = 67.6 dB) and 656 in the control one (LAeq = 53.4 dB). Respondents completed a validated ICBEN 5-grade scale “noise annoyance questionnaire”. In the exposed group a significant source of annoyance was road traffic noise (p < 0.001), noise from entertainment facilities (p < 0.001), industrial noise (p < 0.001), and noise from neighboring flats (p = 0.003). The exposure to PMPs was objectified by the conversion of the subjective evaluation of the volume setting and duration. With the cooperation of the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)specialist, we arranged audiometric examinations on the pilot sample of 41 volunteers. Results: From the total sample of respondents, 79.2% reported the use of a PMP in the course of the last week, and the average time was 285 min. There was a significant difference in PMP use between the road traffic noise-exposed (85.6%) and the control group (75.8%) (p = 0.01). Among PMP users 30.7% exceeded the lower action value (LAV) for industry (LAeq,8h = 80 dB). On a pilot sample of volunteers (n = 41), audiometry testing was performed indicating a hearing threshold shift at higher frequencies in 22% of subjects. Conclusions: The results of the study on a sample of young healthy individuals showed the importance of exposure to social noise as well as to road traffic noise and the need for prevention and intervention. View Full-Text
Keywords: social noise; auditory; non-auditory noise effects; personal music players; university students social noise; auditory; non-auditory noise effects; personal music players; university students
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MDPI and ACS Style

Filova, A.; Jurkovicova, J.; Hirosova, K.; Vondrova, D.; Filova, B.; Samohyl, M.; Babjakova, J.; Stofko, J.; Argalasova, L. Social Noise Exposure in a Sample of Slovak University Students. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 324. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010324

AMA Style

Filova A, Jurkovicova J, Hirosova K, Vondrova D, Filova B, Samohyl M, Babjakova J, Stofko J, Argalasova L. Social Noise Exposure in a Sample of Slovak University Students. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(1):324. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010324

Chicago/Turabian Style

Filova, Alexandra, Jana Jurkovicova, Katarina Hirosova, Diana Vondrova, Barbora Filova, Martin Samohyl, Jana Babjakova, Juraj Stofko, and Lubica Argalasova. 2020. "Social Noise Exposure in a Sample of Slovak University Students" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 1: 324. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010324

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