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Year: 2001  Vol. 5   Num. 2  - Apr/June Print:
Original Article
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The Incidence of Noise Induced Hearing Loss in the Laundry of a University Hospital
A Incidência de PAIR na Lavandeira de um Hospital Universitário
Author(s):
José Augusto Fleury Curado*, Waléria Cristina S. Veiga Rabelo**, Wilder Alves***, Rodolfo Fleury Perini****, Paulo Humberto Siqueira*****.
Key words:
noise induced heaging Loss, audiometry, washroom, employees
Abstract:

Introduction Prolonged exposure to noise affect people in various aspects, causing a progressive and irreversible hearing loss. Aim: This study aims to demonstrate the high rate of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) among laundry employees of a university hospital and to confirm the indubitable importance of hearing evaluation in the diagnosis of the aforementioned. Material and method: From June, 1996 to April, 2000, the hearing of 86 employees of the Clinical Hospital of the Federal University of Goiás was evaluated. The age ranged from 19 to 56. All patients were tested with pure-tone audiometry and a speech recognition threshold. The hospital was also mapped with a soundmeter. The higher intensity of noise was in the laundry, boiler room, kitchen, maintenance section, and outpatient clinic hallway. Result: Out of 34 patients with hearing alterations, 27 (31,4%) were laundry employees. Among these, 23 demonstrated some degree of NIHL. The principal damage among women was a typical hearing drop at the 6000Hz level in the left ear. The male population did not show difference in the damage between ears, with the more prevalent drop occurring in 4000 and 6000 Hz. Conclusion: This study demonstrated the prevalence of NIHL among females, and reaffirmed the importance of a routine audiometric evaluation as a quick, cheap and reliable instrument in preventing and diagnosing NIHL.

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