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2007 | 2 | 3 | 313-318

Article title

Hearing impairment among workers occupationally exposed to excessive levels of noise


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Pure tone audiometry screening and ear examinations were conducted among 138 males working as machine and equipment operators occupationally exposed to intermittent noise of 85 to 105 dBA. Hearing loss up to 30 dB (preserved socially adequate hearing) was found in 25 workers. The hearing impairment was confirmed by distortion products of otoacoustic emissions measurements. A sharp increase in the frequency of cases can be found among the workers with service length over 10 years. While the frequency of the cases among workers with service length below 10 years is 5.45%, it is 26.5% among the subjects with service length over 10 years, with a gradual increase as a result of the increase in exposure duration. A positive correlation (p < 0.05) was found between the frequency of hearing impairment among the workers and the years of exposure to excessive noise levels. Some measures for preventing occupational noise-induced hearing loss were suggested.










Physical description


1 - 9 - 2007
1 - 9 - 2007


  • Medical Faculty, Trakia University, Armeiska str. 11, 6003, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
  • University Hospital, Armeiska str. 11, 6003, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
  • University Hospital, Armeiska str. 11, 6003, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
  • Medical Faculty, Trakia University, Armeiska str. 11, 6003, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria


  • [1] D. Tsvetkov: Hygiene Vol. 2: Occupational Medicine, St. Kliment Ohridski Ltd, Sofia, 2006.
  • [2] W. Sulkowski, W. Szymezak, S. Kowalska and M. Sward-Matyja: “Epidemiology of occupational noise-induced hearing loss (ONIHL) in Poland”, Otolaryngol. Pol., Vol. 58(1), (2004), pp. 233–236.
  • [3] C. Conraux: “Occupational deafness”, Rev. Praticien, Vol. 40(19), (1990), pp. 1762–1765.
  • [4] W. Phoon: “Impact of statutory medical examinations on control of noise-induced hearing loss”, Ann. Acad. Med. Singap., Vol. 23(5), (1994), pp. 742–744. [PubMed]
  • [5] J. Han, F. Li, C. Zhao, Z. Zhang and D. Ni: “Study on distortion product otoacoustic emissions and expanded high frequency audiometry in noise exposure workers”, Lin Chuang Er Bi Yan Hou Ke Za Zhi, Vol. 17(1), (2003), pp. 16–19. [PubMed]
  • [6] F. Marques and E. da Costa: “Exposure to occupational noise: otoacoustic emissions test alterations”, Rev. Bras. Otorrinolaringol., Vol. 72(3), (2006); pp. 362–366. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-72992006000300011[Crossref]
  • [7] S. Kowalska and W. Sulkowski: “Otoacoustic emission measurements: clinical case reports. Part II”, Otolaryngol. Pol., Vol. 50(5), (1996), pp. 542–547.
  • [8] E. Sineva, A. Potokina, P. Liubchenko and T. Osipova: “Hearing function of workers of s’noisy’ occupations at the Podolsk machinery plant and effectiveness of therapeutic measures”, Med. Tr. Prom. Ekol., Vol. 4, (1997), pp. 31–34.
  • [9] P. Tay: “Severe noise-induced deafness-a 10-year review of cases”, Singapore Med. J., Vol. 37(4), (1996), pp. 362–364.
  • [10] A. Smith: “The World Health Organization and the prevention of deafness and hearing impairment caused by noise”, Noise Health, Vol. 1, (1998), pp. 6–12.

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