Prevalence and awareness of noise induced hearing loss in two factories in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
Noise above a certain acceptable level or sustained noise may cause damage to the ears. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence and level of awareness of noise induced hearing loss in Calabar. Seventy-five workers from two noise producing companies, in Calabar- Flour mill and Wartsilla were chosen for this study. An author administered questionnaire was used to record sociodermographic data, occupation, access to ear protection, number of working years, etc; Rhine’s test, Webers test, otoscopy and pure tone audiometry were done for each of the participants. Workers in the generator house, loading bay and production plant were regarded as noise exposed workers while others were non-noise exposed. Forty-one of the noise exposed workers in flour mill (66.83%) had mild hearing loss and ten (16.66%) had moderate loss. In Wartsilla, twenty six workers (50.98%) of the noise exposed workers had mild hearing loss and six(11.76%) had moderate loss. Three non- noise exposed workers in each of the companies also had mild hearing loss. 40% of the participants never heard about ear protection devices; 60%, knew about them. 50% had seen them and 30% felt better using them.
Keywords: Awareness, hearing loss, prevalence, Calabar