The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Progressive Asymmetry in Occupational Noise-Induced Hearing Loss: A Large Population-Based Cohort Study With a 15-Year Follow-Up


Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil


Department of Surgery, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil


Department of Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Ribeirão Preto Medical School, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil

J Int Adv Otol 2021; 17: 520-525
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2021.21139
Read: 895 Downloads: 476 Published: 01 November 2021

BACKGROUND: To evaluate interaural differences between the right and left ears at frequencies from 0.25 to 8 kHz in 3 groups of workers from metallurgy companies.
METHODS: This study is a cross-sectional cohort study. Workers were divided into 3 groups: (1) workers without occupational noise exposure and normal audiometric testing; (2) workers with 10 years of occupational noise exposure; and (3) workers with 15 years of occupational noise exposure. The interaural difference from 0.25 to 8 kHz was measured in each group.
RESULTS: A total of 2103 workers were included. Of these, 483 workers had been exposed to noise in the workplace for 10 years and 216 workers for 15 years. Group 1, only at 4 and 6 kHz, the difference was statistically significant. Group 2, only at 3 , 4 , and 6 kHz, the difference was statistically significant. Group 3, the difference was statistically significant at the frequencies from 2 to 8 kHz.
CONCLUSION: Asymmetry between the right and left ears was observed in all groups, with higher air-conduction thresholds in the left ear. It is important for otolaryngologists be aware that NIHL can also cause or accentuate asymmetry between the right and left ears over time.
Cite this article as: Silva VAR, Kruschewsky MM, Lavinsky L, et al. Progressive asymmetry in occupational noise-induced hearing loss: A large population-based cohort study with a 15-year follow-up. J Int Adv Otol. 2021;17(6):520-525.

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