[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 6-Oct-2009
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Contact: Matt Daigle
newsroom@entnet.org
703-535-3754
American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Drivers of convertibles may be at risk for noise-induced hearing loss

New research released at world's largest ENT meeting

San Diego, CA Drivers who frequently take to the road with the top down may be risking serious damage to their hearing, according to research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, CA.

A prospective study of the convertible-driving experience measured noise levels at speeds of 50, 60, and 70 miles per hour (mph), and indicated that drivers are consistently exposed to between 88 and 90 DbA, with a high of 99 Db. Long or repeated exposure to sounds over 85 Db is widely recognized to cause permanent hearing loss. Road surface, traffic congestion, wind noise, and driving speed were all contributing factors.

Furthermore, the simple act of keeping car windows raised would significantly reduce noise exposure levels to 82 dB, even with the top down.

The authors suggest that motorcycle riders might be looked to as a positive example, because while they are consistently exposed to louder noise levels, as a group they more frequently use ear protection.

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Title: Noise Exposure and Convertible Cars
Author: Philip Michael, MBBCh, DLO, FRCSEd; Michael C.F. Smith, FRCS
Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2009, 9:30-10:20 am

Information for the Media: The AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO Newsroom will be located in the San Diego Convention Center, Mezzanine Level, Room 14A. Hours of operation: Saturday, October 3, 12 pm to 5 pm; Sunday-Tuesday, October 4- 6, 7:30 am to 5 pm; and Wednesday, October 7, 7:30 am to 2 pm (all hours Pacific time). The newsroom serves as a work space for credentialed members of the news media. The newsroom is managed and staffed by the AAO-HNS Communications Unit. Please see the AAO-HNS website for media credentialing requirements for the event.

Onsite Newsroom contact: 1-619-525-6202

About the AAO-HNS

The American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (http://www.entnet.org), one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents more than 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's vision: "Empowering otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons to deliver the best patient care."



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