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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31-35

Prevalence of Hearing Loss and Tinnitus with Correlation to the Usage of Protective Hearing Equipment among Airport Workers

1 Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, King Fahad Medical City and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 King Abdullah Ear Specialist Center, Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Department, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Audiology and Balance Unit, Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Department, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Ahmed H Saleem
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, King Fahad Medical City and Research Center, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JNSM.JNSM_9_18

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Objectives: Epidemiological studies have shown that tinnitus and occupational hearing loss are common symptoms in the working population. Only few studies have assessed the aforementioned symptoms in this population, none of which have assessed airport field workers (AFWs), thus the need for our study. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among AFWs at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. The sample size was calculated to be 380. Each was asked to fill a self-administered questionnaire and undergo pure-tone audiometry to assess hearing level. The questionnaire assessed the participants' demographics, usage of protective hearing equipment (PHE) as well as prevalence and characteristics of tinnitus if present. Results: Of all field workers, 300 (78%) have agreed to participate in the study. A number of 180 (60%) participants believe that PHE prevents noise-related hearing loss. Of all participants, 114 (38%) workers use PHE. No association was found between the participants' belief regarding PHE benefits and their usage of the equipment (P = 0.473). Tinnitus was reported by 81 (27%) of the whole sample. Most of the participants, i.e., 171 (57%) were found to have hearing impairment (>25 dB HL) at low frequencies (0.5, 1, and 2 kHz) in comparison to 144 (48%) at high frequencies (4 and 8 kHz). Conclusion: Even with relatively good knowledge about the importance of PHE, only few workers actually use them. Thus, frequent audiometric screening tests as well as enforcement of PHE usage by AFWs need to be introduced by the airport administrations.

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