Wydawnictwo Medyczne Mediton

Under the scientific patronage of

the Polish Society of Audiology and Phoniatrics


Original articles

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Different methods of hearing assessment in professionally active drivers
Piotr Kotyło 1/, Sigfrid Soli 2/, Elżbieta Rajkowska 1/, Mariola Śliwińska-Kowalska 1/
  • 1/ Klinika Audiologii i Foniatrii, Instytut Medycyny Pracy w Łodzi
  • 2/ House Clinic, Los Angeles, USA

Introduction. Pure-tone audiometry (PTA) is a standard hearing test used in hearing assessment for occupational medicine purposes. However, this test does not reflect the circumstances occurring in the real world, where the sounds appear at suprathreshold (and not threshold) intensity against an ambient noise.
Aim. To compare self-assessed hearing problems with the results of PTA and Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) in professionally active bus drivers.
Material and methods. The study comprises 45 drivers with well preserved hearing. Based on PTA in speech frequencies (0.5-4 kHz), all subjects, but one, were classified to the group 0o of hearing disability according to the categorization of the World Health Organization (WHO). Subjective problems with hearing were assessed by the Amsterdam Inventory for Auditory Disability and Handicap (AIADH). The HINT was performed bilaterally in three different acoustic conditions (noise to both ears; noise to the right ear; noise to the left ear); HINT composite score was expressed as a Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) at which the individual was able to correctly repeat 50% of presented sentences.
Results. In AIADH, over a half of individuals reported problems with hearing; impairment of understanding speech in noisy environment and impaired sound localization were most frequent problems. Although PTA did not exhibit hearing threshold shifts in the range of speech frequencies, the results of HINT were abnormal in almost 29% of drivers.
Conclusion. As compared to the PTA, HINT seems to be more appropriate for assessing functionality of hearing. HINT should be further explored as a screening tool for workers performing hearing-critical jobs.

Otorynolaryngologia Vol 13. No 4. Decemberpages: from 213to 218
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