This chapter presents results of research on influence of auditory fatigue on some aspects of listening condition measured among various groups of listeners. Three experiments have been carried out. The aim of the first one was to find the influence of the kind of headphones used by young people on their hearing loss. The second experiment was concerning the temporary threshold shift (TTS) caused by the listening of loud musical signals after several time of sound exposure. The main interest of the third experiment was the detection ability of changes in spectrum of musical samples obtained after several time of listening to the loud music. It turned out that except for frequency of 4 kHz there is no relation between the types of preferred headphones and the shift of hearing threshold while for the frequency of 4 kHz, a statistically important influence of the headphone types on the threshold values was observed. The second and third experiments were carried out under conditions which normally exist in a studio or on the stage when the sound material is recorded and/or mixed. It turned out that after several loud music listening sessions the average value of temporary threshold shift reached more than 3 dB for 1 kHz and increased up to 6–7 dB with an exposure time of 120 min. On the basis of results obtained from the third experiment, it was found that the decrease in ability to detect the spectrum changes for longer noise exposure exists particularly for lower changes (of ±1.5 dB) and at all frequency regions under investigation. It may suggest that the hearing system gets tired for the region of higher frequencies faster than for other bands after listening to loud music. The results may also be influenced by the mental fatigue which occurred after several time duration of permanently played loud sounds, together with demanding tasks. Such conditions involving the mental engagement in a noisy environment, which is referred to the natural scenery of the studio work can significantly reduce the time of exhaustion which causes the decrease of accuracy in solving several tasks. It should be also noted that the tendencies observed within young people culture in listening loud music in order to be isolated from the environment is actually causing not the TTS phenomenon but permanent threshold shift (PTS).
Part of the book: Advances in Clinical Audiology