Effects of aircraft noise on hearing and auditory pathway function of school-age children

Summary

This study was conducted to investigate the influence of high-frequency aircraft noise on the function of the auditory system of school-age children. A total of 228 students attending a school near an airport (school A) and 151 students attending a school far from an airport (school B) were analyzed. Audiometry and brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP) detection were performed in all subjects to evaluate cochlear and retrocochlear function. The results of audiometry indicated that hearing ability was significantly worse in the children of school A, which was located under the flight paths. The values of pure tone average, high pure tone average, and threshold at 4 kHz were all higher in children who were frequently exposed to aircraft noise. There was no consistent difference in BAEP latencies between the two schools. These results indicate that central transmission is not affected in children who have been exposed to aircraft noise for several years. The results of the present study showed a significant association between aircraft noise exposure and prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss. Although damage to peripheral cochlear organs was confirmed in school-age children, involvement of the central auditory pathway could not be verified.

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Correspondence to Shun-Sheng Chen.

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Chen, TJ., Chen, SS. Effects of aircraft noise on hearing and auditory pathway function of school-age children. Int. Arch Occup Environ Heath 65, 107–111 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00405728

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Key words

  • Aircraft noise
  • Noise-induced hearing loss
  • Brainstem auditory evoked potentials