Hearing Loss in Military Aviation and Other Trades: Investigation of Prevalence and Risk Factors


  1. Abel, S.M.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Introduction: Continuous increase in the cost of claims for noise-induced hearing loss in Canadian Forces personnel prompted a review of hearing conservation practices. Investigations comprised retrospective analyses of hearing test results and a prospective survey of risk factors associated with hearing loss. Method: 1,057 individuals working in 107 land, sea and air trades contributed their current and first hearing test results on record. In two-thirds of the sample, the latter were obtained at enrolment. Subjects completed a 56-item questionnaire relating to demographics, occupational and non occupational noise exposure history, training in and utilization of personal hearing protection, and non noise risk factors including head injury, ear disease, medications, and solvent exposure. Subject recruitment, hearing assessment and questionnaire distribution were carried out by military medical personnel. Apparatus and protocols for hearing testing conformed to current clinical practice. Results: Prevalence of moderate to severe hearing loss progressed with age, with hearing thresholds in those over 45 years ranging broadly from normal to over 70 dB HL. Unprotected exposure to solvents and leisure noise appeared to be significant determinates of adverse outcome, while head injury, history of ear disease, and medications had minimal impact. Discussion: Responses to the questionnaire suggested that training on noise hazard and selection and utilization of hearing protection were

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noise-induced hearing loss;hearing conservation
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-SL-2005-172 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Dec 2005
Number of Pages
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