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Early detection of noise-induced hearing loss

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posted on 2022-06-06, 16:09 authored by Zhao-Li Meng, Fei Chen, Fei Zhao, Hai-Ling Gu, Yun Zheng

 BACKGROUND Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the second most common acquired hearing loss following presbycusis. Exposure to recreational noise and minimal use of hearing protection increase the prevalence of NIHL in young females. NIHL is irreversible. Identifying minor hearing pathologies before they progress to hearing problems that affect daily life is crucial. AIM To compare the advantages and disadvantages of extended high frequency (EHF) and otoacoustic emission and determine an indicator of hearing pathologies at the early sub-clinical stage. METHODS This cross-sectional study was implemented in West China Hospital of Sichuan University from May to September 2019. A total of 86 participants, aged 18-22 years, were recruited to establish normative thresholds for EHF. Another 159 adults, aged 18-25 years with normal hearing (0.25-8 kHz ≤ 25 dBHL), were allocated to low noise and noise exposure groups. Distortion otoacoustic emission (DPOAE), transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE), and EHF were assessed in the two groups to determine the superior technique for detecting early-stage noise-induced pathologies. The chi-square test was used to assess the noise and low noise exposure groups with respect to extended high-frequency  audiometry (EHFA), DPOAE, and TEOAE. P ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. RESULTS A total of 86 participants (66 females and 20 males) aged between 18 and 22 (average: 20.58 ± 1.13) years were recruited to establish normative thresholds for EHF. The normative thresholds for 9, 10, 11.2, 12.5, 14, 16, 18, and 20 kHz were 15, 10, 20, 15, 15, 20, 28, and 0 dBHL, respectively. A total of 201 participants were recruited and examined for eligibility. Among them, 159 adults aged between 18 and 25 years were eligible in this study. No statistical difference was detected between the noise exposure and the low noise exposure groups using EHFA, DPOAE, and TEOAE (P > 0.05) except in the right ear at 4 kHz using TEOAE (abnormal rate 20.4% vs 5.2%, respectively; P = 0.05). CONCLUSION These results showed TEOAE as the earliest indicator of minor pathology compared to DPOAE and EHFA. However, a multicenter controlled study or prospective study is essential to verify these results. 


Published in

World Journal of Clinical Cases


Baishideng Publishing Group


  • VoR (Version of Record)


Meng ZL, Chen F, Zhao F, Gu HL, Zheng Y. (2022) 'Early detection of noise-induced hearing loss', World Journal of Clinical Cases 2022; 10(6): 1815-1825 DOI: 10.12998/wjcc.v10.i6.1815

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Fei Zhao

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Speech, Hearing and Communication

Copyright Holder

  • © The Authors


  • en

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