Home Magazines Editors-in-Chief FAQs Contact Us

Self-reported hearing status and audiometric thresholds among college students using headphones

Journal of Otolaryngology-ENT Research
Yash Shrimal,1 Aparna Nandurkar2


Purpose:The study aims to investigate headphone listening habits of college-going students and for those using headphones, correlate self-reported hearing status with average audiometric hearing thresholds.

Method: Headphone listening habits and awareness of adverse effects of the same was profiled in college-going students using a questionnaire distributed through online platform. Hearing thresholds were then compared for those with and without self-report of hearing difficulty. 341 responses were obtained from students between 17 and 23 years of age. For the second part of the study, a convenience sample of 30 willing students from among these 341 was selected. Pure tone thresholds were obtained for various frequencies with a high frequency audiometer. PTA (average of 500, 1000, 2000 Hz) and HFPTA (average of 4000, 6000, 8000, 10000 Hz) were calculated for both the ears and compared for those with and without reported hearing difficulty.

Results:78% students reported headphone usage for less than 3 hours per day, while 22% reported usage for more than 3 hours per day. 77% respondents were aware that listening to loud sounds can alter hearing sensitivity, but many (54.83%) did not have awareness about the minimum safe hours of listening. There was a weak positive correlation between self-reported hearing difficulty and poor ear HFPTA (r = 0.2304).

Conclusion: Majority of students used insert earphones even after knowing the adverse effect of the same. There was a weak correlation found between the self-reported hearing problems and audiometric hearing thresholds.

Implication:More awareness is needed about the ill effects of headphone usage amongst the young teenage population. Proper counseling and management strategies are required for people who report difficulty in hearing.


Headphone listening, audiometric thresholds, High frequency pure tone average, college students, noise induced hearing loss