Evaluation of brainstem auditory evoked potential in noise-induced deafness
Author(s): Shilpa Waghmare
Noise-induced hearing loss is an increasingly prevalent but preventable hearing disorder. The hearing deficit is of sensorineural type and its prevalence is next only to age-related hearing loss.1 Occupational health hazards have not received significant attention yet. The rail engine drivers who operate trains in an environment with extreme noise and temperature, is an example. The present study was done to determine whether BAEP is valuable in the early detection of change in the hearing capability of the subjects due to continuous noise exposure. This present study is a cross-sectional study that compares the hearing status of rail engine drivers, exposed to heavy noise for a duration of 10 years or more, and subjects working in quiet environment, matched for age, sex and work routine. The technique used in this study is Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potentials (BAEPs) along with personal interview, tuning fork tests. Of the 60 subjects that we studied, 36 (60%) reported to be having sensorineural deafness. BAEP is a simple, non-invasive technique to detect the change in the hearing capability even in the absence of specific symptoms, when the person himself is not aware of it.
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