Noise-induced hearing loss profile among Taiwan Airforce on duty pilots

Shih Ming Chen, Yang Teng Fan, Róger Marcelo Martinez, Chenyi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) often results in impaired functional hearing and accidental injuries; thus, reducing military performance and endangering flight safety. While a few studies addressing laterality (left-right ear differences) and NIHL incidence between fixed-winged (jet-fighter) and rotary-wing (helicopter) aircrafts yielded inconsistent results, little is known about the NIHL profile among different types of jet-fighter pilots. This study aims to conduct a fine-grained examination of NIHL among Airforce jet pilots, with planned comparisons of laterality and aircraft type, along with the goal to compare the sensitivity of different hearing indices in predicting military pilot NIHL. Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study utilizes the health and hearing data of 1025 Taiwanese Air Force Military pilots from the 2019 Taiwanese physical examination database to assess the changes in their hearing thresholds, and evaluate their risk for NIHL. Results: Our results showed that, among available military aircraft types, the trainer aircraft and M2000-5 jet-fighter had the highest risk of NIHL, in addition to a left ear inferiority found in the overall population of military pilots. Among the three hearing indices used in this study –the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) three-point hearing index, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) three-point hearing index, and the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery's (AAO-HNS) high-frequency three-point hearing index–, the OSHA the AAO-HNS were the most sensitive. Conclusion: Our results suggest a better noise protection for trainer and M2000-5 pilots, especially for the left ear, is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103802
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Keywords

  • Auditory health
  • Flight time
  • Hearing loss
  • Military pilots
  • Noise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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