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Article

Tinnitus and Self-Perceived Hearing Handicap in Firefighters: A Cross-Sectional Study

1
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
2
Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201, USA
3
Department of Family Medicine, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 3958; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16203958
Received: 12 September 2019 / Revised: 3 October 2019 / Accepted: 15 October 2019 / Published: 17 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Exposures and Hearing Loss)
Firefighters are susceptible to auditory dysfunction due to long-term exposure to noise from sirens, air horns, equipment, and tools used in forcible entry, ventilation, and extrication. In addition, they are exposed to ototoxic chemicals, particularly, during overhaul operations. Studies indicate that 40% of firefighters have hearing loss in the noise-sensitive frequencies of 4 and 6 kHz. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is often accompanied by tinnitus, which is characterized by ringing noise in the ears. The presence of phantom sounds can adversely affect the performance of firefighters. However, there has been limited research conducted on the prevalence of tinnitus in firefighters. We enrolled firefighters from Michigan, with at least 5 years of continuous service. The hearing handicap inventory for adults (HHIA) was used to determine the difficulty in hearing perceived by the firefighters and the tinnitus functional index (TFI) was used to determine the severity of tinnitus. Self-perceived hearing handicap was reported by 36% of the participants, while tinnitus was reported by 48% of the participants. The TFI survey indicated that 31% perceived tinnitus as a problem. More importantly, self-perceived hearing handicap was significantly associated with the incidence of tinnitus in firefighters, suggesting a potential link between occupational exposure to ototraumatic agents and tinnitus in firefighters. View Full-Text
Keywords: tinnitus; hearing loss; ototoxicity; firefighters; environmental exposures; noise; lead tinnitus; hearing loss; ototoxicity; firefighters; environmental exposures; noise; lead
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jamesdaniel, S.; Elhage, K.G.; Rosati, R.; Ghosh, S.; Arnetz, B.; Blessman, J. Tinnitus and Self-Perceived Hearing Handicap in Firefighters: A Cross-Sectional Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3958. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16203958

AMA Style

Jamesdaniel S, Elhage KG, Rosati R, Ghosh S, Arnetz B, Blessman J. Tinnitus and Self-Perceived Hearing Handicap in Firefighters: A Cross-Sectional Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(20):3958. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16203958

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jamesdaniel, Samson, Kareem G. Elhage, Rita Rosati, Samiran Ghosh, Bengt Arnetz, and James Blessman. 2019. "Tinnitus and Self-Perceived Hearing Handicap in Firefighters: A Cross-Sectional Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 20: 3958. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16203958

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