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Trauma Mon. 2012 Jan;16(4):182-7. doi: 10.5812/kowsar.22517464.2674. Epub 2012 Jan 15.

Assessment of impulse noise level and acoustic trauma in military personnel.

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Trauma Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.
Department of Otolaryngology, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.



Military personnel are usually exposed to high levels of impulse noise (IN) which can lead to hearing loss.


The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of relatively low level exposure of impulse noise (IN) during shooting practice on hearing using pure tone audiometry (PTA) and transiently evoked otoacoustic emission (TEOAE) in military personnel.


Forty male soldiers (mean age 20.08 years) were recruited for the study. Prior to their first shooting practice, PTA and TEOAE were recorded. After 15 minutes and one week post- practice PTA and TEOAE were compared.


Immediately after shooting practice significant differences in PTA at 500, 1000, and 4000 Hz were observed for the right ear and no significant difference at any frequency for the left ear. There was a significant difference in the amplitude of TEOAE 15 minutes after shooting practice at 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz in the right ear, while for the left ear the difference was significant at 1000 and 2000 Hz. One week after exposure a significant difference at 500 and 4000 Hz was found only in the right ear and a significant difference in the amplitude of TEOAE was observed at 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz.


Even exposure lower than permissible levels may lead to acoustic trauma. TEOAE is more sensitive than PTA in detecting early hearing loss after military shooting exercises. Hearing protection equipment and appropriate surveillance programs are recommended.


Auditory Fatigue; Hearing Loss; Military Personnel

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