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Using auditory simulations to enable prevention of noise exposure in school-age children and young adults

Health education regarding noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus is vitally important for a generation that is growing up listening to music via the MP3 player. It is clear that exposure to loud sounds during leisure activities, especially via the ubiquitous iPod and its in-the-ear earphones, is a concern to young people and their parents. The research reported here examined attitudes to the risks of developing hearing loss and tinnitus amongst young people and investigated the effectiveness of auditory simulations of hearing loss and tinnitus as a way to convey a health-based fear appeal aimed at teenagers and young adults.

One of the key recommendations of the report is to develop education materials to be integrated into school curricula. In WA for the upper school course Integrated Science, information about hearing processes, the anatomy of the ear, and consequences of overexposure to noise and loud sounds as demonstrated via auditory simulations of hearing loss and tinnitus is taught in the syllabus of the course. Teacher and student workbooks have been developed specifically for this purpose


Researchers

Associate Professor Paul Chang

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