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J Otolaryngol. 2007 Aug;36(4):247-52.

Does scuba diving cause hearing loss?

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Kirikkale University, Kirikkale, Turkey.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The aim of this prospective study was to investigate the hearing levels and transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) of scuba divers.

METHODS:

The study group consisted of 15 scuba divers (9 males, 6 females) and 30 ears. The control group consisted of 15 healthy nondiver patients (9 males, 6 females) and 30 ears. For the study group, total diving duration (TDD), total diving score (TDS), duration after the last dive (DALD), and maximum diving depth (MDD) were obtained by questionnaire. All subjects were evaluated by an otolaryngologic examination, pure-tone and high-frequency audiometry, and transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs).

RESULTS:

There was no significant difference between the hearing thresholds and TEOAEs of the study and control groups. For divers, age, higher TDDs and TDSs, and a higher MDD caused an increase in hearing thresholds and a decrease in TEOAEs. When the DALD increased, cochlear functions again achieved nearly normal levels.

CONCLUSION:

We recommend that divers' hearing levels and cochlear functions be evaluated before diving. Noninfected status and differences in the volume of the mastoid cell system may explain the results of our study.

PMID:
17942040
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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