SiobhanIn November 2016, HEARing CRC PhD student Siobhan McGinnity (The University of Melbourne) received a Student Conference Award from the US-based National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA).

As a recipient of this award, Siobhan (pictured right) will attend and present her preliminary research findings at their 2017 conference in San Antonio, Texas later in the year. Siobhan’s PhD research is finding out if musicians, sound engineers and live-music enthusiasts have a greater risk of acquiring hearing loss due to their ongoing exposure to sound.

“To date, the risk of hearing loss amongst musicians have been well documented by researchers, but very little is known if it extends to live music sound engineers and music lovers – who are also at the centre of the live-music experience. Considering sound levels in live music venues have been consistently recorded between 92 and 106 dBA  – it stands to reason there is a good chance this may be the case,” Siobhan said.

“At the 2017 NHCA Conference, I will be going into more detail about my PhD research. So far the data I have collated suggests individuals wearing hearing protection for even 20 percent of the time will have better hearing outcomes.”

Founded in 1976, the NHCA was created to prevent hearing loss caused by noise exposure and other environmental factors across all sectors of society through its professional development, education, research and policy formulation initiatives.

The NHCA also acts as a forum where organisations and individuals with similar concerns can share information and research findings that provide new insights into hearing conservation. It is comprised primarily of audiologists and otolaryngologists (ENTs) who are concerned with noise-induced, hearing impairment caused by occupational exposure and lifestyle choices.