Frequency of Noise Induced Hearing Loss Among Traffic Wardens of Lahore
Background: Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a major cause of disability throughout the world. It is the most common irreversible job-related hazard in the world with a higher burden in the developing regions of the world. Certain occupations are at high risk for NIHL. Traffic wardens could be considered highly vulnerable group as they are exposed to long hours of traffic noise. The objective of this study was to determine the frequency of noise induced hearing loss among traffic wardens of Lahore city.
Material and Methods: It was a cross-sectional, descriptive study, carried out from 1st December 2018 to 31st May 2019, in which 329 traffic wardens appointed in 34 beats/sectors of Lahore city were included. Data was collected through a structured questionnaire, followed by Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA) of all the subjects.
Results: A total of 329 traffic wardens were selected for this study. Mean age of the traffic wardens was 35.35 ± 1.21 years. NIHL was present in 174 (52.9%) traffic wardens, out of which, 138 (79.3%) had mild, 32 (18.4%) moderate, and 4 (2.3%) had moderately severe degree of hearing loss. Among the 329 traffic wardens, 165 (50.2%) had exposure to noise between 7am to 3pm (morning shift) and 42 (12.8%) had some problem with their hearing. Only 12 (3.6%) had ringing in the ears or tinnitus, 140 (42.6%) wore any hearing protection during duty hours and 42 (12.8%) said they had difficulty in hearing and frequently asked people to repeat themselves.
Conclusion: In this study a high frequency of noise induced hearing loss was reported among traffic wardens of Lahore city with most of them having mild to moderate degree of hearing loss.
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