Revista Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia
Print version ISSN 0034-7299
STEINMETZ, Luciara Giacobe et al. The characteristics of tinnitus in workers exposed to noise. Rev. Bras. Otorrinolaringol. [online]. 2009, vol.75, n.1, pp. 7-14. ISSN 0034-7299. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-72992009000100002.
Tinnitus is a common auditory complaint among individuals exposed to noise. AIM: this paper aims to study the characteristics of tinnitus in workers exposed to noise. STUDY DESIGN: this is a descriptive prospective study. MATERIALS AND METHOD: Fifty-two individuals averaging 29 years of age were enrolled in a hearing loss prevention program at a meat processing plant. The participants were interviewed and had their hearing tested in 2005 and 2006. RESULTS: seventy-one percent of the participants were found to have normal hearing. Tinnitus was present in 16% of the males and in 9% of the females. Mean noise exposure length was 7 years and noise levels ranged from 86 to 91 dBA (48%). Bilateral tinnitus (46%) of the hissing type (40%) and moderate intensity (49%) was the most prevalent. Symptoms began to be observed within one to five years after initial exposure to noise (67%) and manifested themselves in weekly episodes (41%) that bothered the patients mostly at night (34%). A significant correlation was observed between the frequency of tinnitus episodes and the noise levels to which workers were exposed. CONCLUSION: tinnitus should be included in hearing loss prevention programs in order to more comprehensively promote occupational hearing health.
Keywords : hearing loss; prevention; occupational noise.