Noise Exposure and Temporary Hearing Loss of Indoor Hockey Officials: A Pilot Study


Indoor hockey officials might be at high risk of hearing loss at an earlier age because their noise exposures have not been evaluated and officiating can begin as early as 10 years of age. Officials of junior and collegiate hockey leagues in northern Colorado participated in noise dosimetry and pre and postgame pure-tone audiometry to determine if a ≥10 decibels (dB) decrease in hearing sensitivity resulted from noise exposures during the game. All of the officials (N = 23) were exposed to equivalent sound pressure levels ≥85 A-weighted decibels (dBA) and 65% were overexposed based on noise criteria set by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. Of the sampled officials, 10 of 18 demonstrated a ≥10 dB increase in hearing threshold, seven of whom included shifts in more than one ear and/or frequency and two of whom demonstrated a 15 dB shift. The results of this study suggest exposure to hazardous levels of noise and a possible increased risk for hearing loss among hockey officials.

Speaker / Author: 
Karin L. Adams, PhD
Ammon Langley, MS
William Brazile, PhD, CIH
Month Year: 
November 2016
Page #: 
Publication Month: 
November 2016