Noise pollution seems to be the hallmark of modern times, invading all of our public and private spaces.
Study: SAHI undertook a study on the effects of noise pollution on Traffic Policemen, who are among the most vulnerable groups exposed to this problem.
Results: To our surprise, 76% of those screened had Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). Traffic Policemen who had completed a five year tenure on the streets had 100% incidence of hearing loss. A small percentage of policemen had hearing loss due to other problems for which surgeries, medication and hearing aids were provided.
No. of police men screened – 45
No. of Hearing Aids given – 01
No. of Patients Selected for Surgery – 04
SAHI also gave counseling to policemen and recommended possible preventive and contingency measures to the chiefs of police departments.
Study:In September of 2010, a series of hearing tests and screening was carried out in
Apollo Hospital on the International Deaf Day for traffic policemen. Traffic police are at the risk of highest grade of sound pollution. 52 traffic policemen varying from 6 months to 8-10 years of service were screened for hearing loss.
Results: 63.5% of traffic policemen were found to be suffering irreversible hearing loss (Sensorineural hearing loss) in the high frequency due to exposure to high decibel level of sound pollution.
Up to 30% of affected traffic policemen with an of average of four years of experience showed signs of the risk of hearing loss directly proportional to the duration of exposure.
No. of police men screened – 52
No. of Patients Selected for Surgery – 01
No. of Hearing Aids given – Nil
Study:A free medical camp for auto drivers was conducted by SAHI on 11th of November’09 and also on 22nd of August’10. The aim of these camps was to evaluate hearing problems of auto drivers who are at higher risk of sound pollution. The average time they are exposed to noise pollution vary from 4 to 10 hours per day. In the two camps, about 60 auto drivers were evaluated who had been working for anywhere from 1 year to 16 years. The audiologist examined case histories of affected candidates by performing a Puretone Audiometry Evaluation.
Results:The results show that there is high incidence of sensorineural deafness in high frequencies directly proportional to the numbers of years in the profession.
The results clearly indicates the incidence of sensorineural nerve deafness.
Statistics:No. of years of experience Percentage
16 and above – 89
11 to 15 – 69
6 to 10 – 65
0 to 5 – 42
From the statistics it is clearly evident that the incidence of sensorineural deafness is increasing with the amount of exposure i.e. years of auto driving. Since sensorineural deafness is a permanent disability without a cure, prevention should be highlighted.
With greater awareness campaigns about sound pollution the incidence of this problem can be monitored and hopefully prevented!