Assessment of hearing and hearing disorders in rock/jazz musicians

Int J Audiol. 2003 Jul;42(5):279-88. doi: 10.3109/14992020309078347.


The aim of this study was to assess hearing and hearing disorders among rock/jazz musicians. One hundred and thirty-nine (43 women and 96 men) musicians participated. The results are based on pure-tone audiometry and questionnaire responses. According to our definition of hearing loss, tinnitus, hyperacusis, distortion and/or diplacusis as hearing disorders, we found disorders in 74%, of the rock/jazz musicians studied. Hearing loss, tinnitus and hyperacusis were most common, and the latter two were found significantly more frequently than in different reference populations. The women showed bilateral, significantly better hearing thresholds at 3-6 kHz than the men. Hyperacusis, and the combination of both hyperacusis and tinnitus, were found to be significantly more frequent among women than among men. Hearing loss and tinnitus were significantly more common among men than among women. It is important to evaluate all kinds of hearing problems (other than hearing loss) in musicians, since they represent an occupational group especially dependent on optimal, functional hearing. On the basis of our results, we suggest that hearing problems such as tinnitus, hyperacusis, distortion and/or diplacusis should, in addition to hearing loss, be defined as hearing disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Female
  • Hearing / physiology*
  • Hearing Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Hearing Disorders / epidemiology
  • Hearing Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Hearing Loss / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hyperacusis / diagnosis
  • Hyperacusis / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Music*
  • Perceptual Distortion / physiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • Time Factors
  • Tinnitus / diagnosis
  • Tinnitus / physiopathology