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Abstract       Context: Continuous noise exposure damages the delicate Organ of Corti, the hearing apparatus, causing permanent threshold shift of hearing, producing noise induced hearing loss [NIHL]. Aims: The present study was aimed at investigating hearing loss in power loom workers and its correlation with duration of exposure to noise. Settings and design: Ichalkaranji, a small to wn is a hub of small scale power loom industry, which unfortunately is not a planned city with scattering of units all over the town. This is a cross sectional study done in power loom units for estimating the hearing thresholds of workers using conventional pure tone audiometry. Materials and methods: The hearing threshold of 178 otologically normal randomly selected subjects in age group 18 -50 years were estimated. The subjects were divided into three groups according to the duration of exposure. Statistical analyses used: Analysis Of Variance (ANOVA), Chi-square test and Correlation test. Results: The mean noise level was 95.33 dBA [above safety limits]. Prevalence of hearing loss increased with duration of exposure from group I (33.84 %) to group III (99 %) which was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Highest mean threshold levels for hearing were observed at 4000 Hz frequency in all the three groups. Conclusions: Noise exposure above safety limits for extended shift hours shows significant correlation between hearing loss and duration of exposure. Moderate to severe hearing loss develops within the first ten years of exposure to noise progressing slowly thereafter.

Key Words: audiometry, hearing loss, noise, power loom.

STATPERSON PUBLISHING GROUP | Aurangabad | Maharashtra |2016 | INDIA
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