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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1035; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091035

Work-Related Noise Exposure in a Cohort of Patients with Chronic Tinnitus: Analysis of Demographic and Audiological Characteristics

1
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale del Policlinico 155, 00186 Rome, Italy
2
Department of Anatomy, Histology, Legal Medicine and Orthopaedics, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena 336, 00161 Rome, Italy
3
Department of Sense Organs, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale del Policlinico 155, 00186 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin Röösli
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Occupational Safety and Health)
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Abstract

Work-related noise exposure is one of the major factors contributing to the development of adult-onset hearing loss and tinnitus. The aim of this study was to analyze, in patients with chronic tinnitus and long-term occupational noise exposure, (A) characteristics of hearing loss, tinnitus, comorbidities, demographic characteristics and a history of work-related noise exposure and (B) differences among individuals employed in occupations with high and low risk of developing work-related noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). One hundred thirty six patients with chronic tinnitus and at least a 10 year-long working history were divided into two groups based on the risk of their profession to induce NIHL. Individuals employed in jobs at high risk for NIHL were mostly males and exhibited a poorer hearing threshold, more evident in the left ear. Tinnitus was mostly bilateral; the next largest presentation was left-sided; patients described their tinnitus as buzzing or high-pitched. Correlation between age, length of tinnitus and worse hearing was found. Patients with a higher degree of hearing impairment were mostly males and were more likely to have a family history of hearing loss and at least one cardiovascular comorbidity. Our study shows some differences in individuals with tinnitus and a history of a profession associated with increased exposure to NIHL compared to those without such a history. View Full-Text
Keywords: noise-induced hearing loss; tinnitus; occupational noise exposure; pure tone audiometry noise-induced hearing loss; tinnitus; occupational noise exposure; pure tone audiometry
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ralli, M.; Balla, M.P.; Greco, A.; Altissimi, G.; Ricci, P.; Turchetta, R.; De Virgilio, A.; De Vincentiis, M.; Ricci, S.; Cianfrone, G. Work-Related Noise Exposure in a Cohort of Patients with Chronic Tinnitus: Analysis of Demographic and Audiological Characteristics. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1035.

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