VESTIBULAR SYMPTOMS IN WORKERS EXPOSED TO OCCUPATIONAL NOISE IN A MATCHES COMPANY
Objective: To determine vestibular disorders in workers of a matches company, and identify the main risks associated with the development of these symptoms.Â
Methods: The work included two groups: the experimental constituting the workers who were exposed to chronic occupational noise, and the control group corresponding to the administrative staff which were not exposed to occupational noise. The Irvine questionnaire Â developed by the by Department of Otolaryngology at the University of California, and the Dizziness Questionnaire developed by the Center for Audio and Balance from the University of Maryland were used to evaluate the prevalence of vestibular symptoms. Tone audiometric evaluations were performed to all individuals in the population.
Results: In the experimental group 9.7% of the employees showed hearing loss or acoustic trauma in both ears. In the control group 5.5% of the employees showed mild hearing loss. 60 % of the employees have any symptoms associated with a vestibular disorder either by noise or exposure (experimental group) to ergonomic risk factors (administrative staff).
Conclusions: The prevalence of vestibular symptoms in individuals of the experimental group could be associated with exposure to occupational noise â‰¥ 85 decibels (dBA). The questionnaires are important tools because they could prevent occupational hearing loss and it does not involve onerous economic cost for the company. Questionnaires could be used in any type of business from craftwork to industrial plants.
Keywords: Vestibular symptoms; Noise; safety and occupational health.
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