Effects Of Noise Exposure On Hearing Health Evaluated Through Short Interval Otoacoustic Emission Monitoring
Keywords:otoacoustic emissions, noise, hearing protection
AbstractIndustrial workers are often exposed on a daily basis to noise doses that put them at risk of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), which remains the largest cause of indemnity in North America industries. To improve occupational hearing loss prevention programs, a method to continuously measure hearing fatigue using otoacoustic emissions (OAE) has already been proposed by the authors using a portable and robust OAE system designed for noisy industrial use. The effectiveness in the field of the aforementioned method is examined by comparing a control group of unexposed subjects in laboratory and noise exposed subjects in the field. All participants are equipped with an hearing protection earpiece which includes the usual OAE measurement components as well as a microphone mounted on the outer faceplate of the earpiece. At regular intervals over the course of the day, the growth function of distortion product OAEs is measured for both groups while simultaneously measuring noise levels inside and outside the ear. Preliminary results of this study are presented and analysed in the broader context of the dose-response relationship that could indicate individuals' risk to develop NIHL.
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