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Prevalence, Awareness, and Factors Associated with Noise-induced Hearing Loss in Occupational Motorcyclists in Southwestern Nigeria.

Background: There is generally a lack of awareness among professional motorcycle riders on the risk of noise-induced hearing loss; due to a variety of factors, they are exposed to by the nature of their job. This study, therefore, aimed to determine the prevalence, awareness, and factors associated with noise-induced hearing loss among motorcycle riders in Ido-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria.

Methodology: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted between February and March 2019 among 420 motorcycle riders in Ido-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Southwestern Nigeria. Data analyses were performed using the SPSS software version 20. P ≤ 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Three hundred and sixty of the total of 420 consented for pure-tone audiometry which was done to assess their hearing thresholds.

Results: Majority of the respondents had at least a secondary level of education. About 14.5% of the total study population had hearing loss, among which 15% also reported an accompanying ear discharge. All of the respondents did not have any history of hearing loss before they started the occupation. More than half of the study population was aware of noise-induced hearing loss and was able to link it to their profession. None of the study participants used a hearing aid, but 17.9% reported using ear mufflers and 16.2% used earphones while riding.

Conclusion: Majority of our respondents had secondary school education and 14.5% of the total study population reported hearing loss, among which 15% also reported an accompanying ear discharge. Furthermore, more than half of the study population was aware of noise-induced hearing loss and was able to link it to their profession, whereas 50% agreed that their occupation placed them at risk of hearing loss.

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