Collections > Scholarly Posters and Presentations > Efficacy of School-­Based Hearing Conservation Programs: A Systematic Review

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the result of exposure to sounds that are too loud in our environment, and it is entirely preventable. A CDC study in 2012 estimated that as many as 24 percent of adults have features of NIHL. Hearing conservation programs (HCPs) in workplace environments exist in order to protect workers and educate them on the effects of NIHL. These HCPs work to reduce worker’s exposure to these loud sounds that can cause permanent hearing loss. An estimated 5.2 million children have NIHL in one or both ears. Increased mp3 player use has led to a growth in this population. NIHL can impact children in the same way that it impacts adults, but there is an additional concern of educational impact. The impact of hearing loss on academic performance is well documented and as there is rise in NIHL among school age children, there is a push to educate and protect this vulnerable population. When poor classroom acoustics are also taken in to consideration, the concern becomes even larger. Previous research has demonstrated that adult HCPs are effective. Fewer hearing conservation programs exist for children, and the effectiveness of them is not well known. We conducted this systematic review to determine what research exists on school-based hearing conservation programs.