Miniaturized impulse noise dosimeter to test and avoid hearing impairment in humans

Noise-related hearing impairment is one of the most common work-related medical conditions, and in everyday life people are also often exposed to noise levels which can damage their hearing. The explosion of a firework at New Year can create a pulse overshoot of up to 170 dB and even a toy gun at a distance of 10 cm, can create an impulse of 160 dB. As a comparison, the pain threshold is 120 dB – 130 dB. This can lead to a loss of hearing. According to recent medical insights, besides the noise level, the impulse level variation over time is also potentially dangerous. Until now highly dynamic acoustic phenomena (bangs) in particular, could only be recorded using complex methods, as inexpensive microphones can only measure up to a level of approx. 140 dB.

This joint project deals with the development of a new miniaturized high-level impulse microphone system with a signal processing unit, and with investigations of impulse-noise-induced hearing impairment in humans which it makes possible. The high level microphone will be designed so that, like a dosimeter, it can be worn close to the ear and can record noise phenomena.

The project was funded by the BMBF from November 2010 until October 2013 through the FHprofUnt programme, FKZ 17027B10.

Project Partners

Furtwangen University (Overall coordination)
Hochschule Aalen, Studiengang Hörakustik
Universitätsklinikum Marburg-Gießen, AG Hörforschung
Hessen Ministry of Culture, Department of Education and Health
as well as several cooperating industrial firms

Project Leader
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Mescheder

Contact

Dr. Wolfgang Kronast
Faculty of Mechanical and Medical Engineering
Tel: +49 (0)7723 920-2514
Fax: +49 (0)7723 920-2633
Furtwangen Campus, Room B 1.08
Email: Wolfgang.Kronast(at)hs-furtwangen.de