Assessment of hearing state in heavy and semi-heavy vehicle drivers
Background and Aim: Safe driving depends on the driver’s ability to receive messages from the environment, and adjust to them. Drivers obtain useful information about the environment by means of audition. So assessment of hearing state in drivers because of frequent exposure to road and car noise is an important issue.
Materials and Methods: This study was conducted on 320 heavy and semi-heavy vehicle drivers in Isfahan city .Mean age and duration of professional driving of the drivers were 40.44±9.69 and 15.31±8.94 years, respectively. Participants underwent otoscopy and pure tone audiometry in conventional octave and half-octave 3 and 6 kHz frequencies. Data were analyzedbypaired-t and Pearson correlation tests via SPSS 11.5 software.
Results: Among participants 174 subjects indicated some degrees of hearing loss (mild to profound). Comparison of threshold means between two ears showed significant differences at 3 to 8 kHz frequencies (P< 0.05). The thresholds were worse in the left ear.
Conclusion: Continuous exposure to noise pollution related to road and heavy vehicles may cause significant hearing loss in drivers at 4 kHz frequency and adjacent frequencies .So, there is a requirement for regular hearing evaluations, offering preventative strategies and some lifestyle changes in this profession.
Keywords: Drivers, Noise induced hearing loss, Hearing assessment