Each of us exposed to noise of certain level will suffer so called Temporary Threshold Shift (TTS) – that is in fact temporary partial hearing loss. The TTS level and its duration depends on level of the noise, time of exposure and noise frequency band. There is no need to visit military firing ground to experience it – just go to the primary school in your neighborhood! Noise levels (Leq) measured in primary schools corridors very often varies between 80 and 90 dBA. Recently prepared simulation program shows that 20 min exposition for noise of Leq=88 dBA cause TTS of 20-24 dBA and hearing needs 165 min of rest for full recovery.
Specialists from Multimedia Systems Department of Gdańsk University of Technology and Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing in Warsaw prepared a simulation software that can predict TTS level and recovery time in relation to noise exposure. Software is designed as an internet tool where everybody can upload sound files (MP3 or WAV format) recorded in specific individual environment. After putting in information about real sound level measured during recording, it’s possible to start simulation showing how strong is noise impact on hearing capabilities in this particular case.
Simulation is accesible here