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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 70  |  Page : 183--188

Occupational hearing loss of market mill workers in the city of Accra, Ghana


Department of Surgery, University of Ghana Medical School, Accra, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Emmanuel D Kitcher
Department of Surgery, University of Ghana Medical School, P. O. Box 4236, Accra
Ghana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.134919

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Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is an irreversible sensorineural hearing loss associated with exposure to high levels of excessive noise. Prevention measures are not well established in developing countries. This comparative cross sectional study aims to determine the prevalence of hearing loss in both a group of high risk workers and a control group and to assess their knowledge of the effects of noise on hearing health. A total of 101 market mill workers and 103 controls employed within markets in the city of Accra, Ghana, were evaluated using a structured questionnaire and pure tone audiometry. The questionnaire assessed factors including self-reported hearing loss, tinnitus, knowledge on the effects of noise on hearing health and the use of hearing protective devices. Pure tone audiometric testing was conducted for both mill workers and controls. Noise levels at the work premises of the mill workers and controls were measured. Symptoms of hearing loss were reported by 24 (23.76%) and 8 (7.7%) mill workers and controls respectively. Fifty-five (54.5%) and fifty-four (52.37%) mill workers and controls exhibited knowledge of the effects of noise on hearing health. Five (5.0%) mill workers used hearing protective devices. There was significant sensorineural hearing loss and the presence of a 4 kHz audiometric notch among mill workers when compared with controls for the mean thresholds of 2 kHz, 3 kHz and 4 kHz (P = 0. 001). The prevalence of hearing loss in the better hearing ears of the mill workers and controls was 24.8% and 4.8% respectively (P < 0.5). The prevalence of hearing loss, which may be characteristic of NIHL in the better hearing ears of the mill workers and controls was 24.8% and 4.8% respectively. The majority of mill workers did not use hearing protection.






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