Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Tara M. Davis, Ph.D.


This research study compared how audiometric results differ in service members who are and those who are not exposed to occupational hazardous noise. To address this question, the performance of 21 service members with no occupational noise was compared to the performance of 23 service members with reported occupational noise exposure. Standard audiometric tests were employed, as well as expanded test measures including extended high frequency audiometry and speech in noise testing.

Results indicated the experimental group performed more poorly on some Modified Rhyme Test (speech in noise test) conditions, as well as were more likely to have absent audiometric responses in the extended high frequency range at 14000 Hz. Furthermore, noise-exposed service members had more reports of tinnitus and a more sever tinnitus handicap. Tinnitus handicap scores were compared with extended high frequency thresholds and distortion products otoacoustic emission amplitudes, which revealed significant correlations to indicate that better thresholds/amplitudes related to lower tinnitus handicaps. This study primarily addressed hearing loss as a result of noise but had additional findings of tinnitus correlating with the testing conducted. From a hearing conservation perspective, this study addresses the need for an expanded test battery not only for hearing loss but for noise-induced tinnitus as well.