Firearms noise and hearing conservation: hearing protection fit testing, noise assessment and hearing surveillance




Background. Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) continues to be a prevalent problem in Military Service. Purpose. To assess the 'SureFire' earplug, a Hearing Protective Device (HPD), within the context of a hearing conservation programme. Methods. The Sperian 'VeriPro' system was used to test the HPD attenuation. Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) base-line testing assessed base-line status of hearing. Noise exposure during test firing was measured using a B&K precision noise level meter, and a post firing OAE test was carried out to measure any deterioration in hearing due to excess noise exposure. Results. There was a 'between ears' difference in HPD fitting, with better attenuation in right ears. The HPDs were rated to reduce the noise by at least 15 dB in 84% of those exposed. In practice 84% of individuals would have achieved attenuation of between 8.4 and 23.6 dBA. The noise levels during the practice averaged 110 dBA, the actual exposure being 94 dBA, with 84% receiving between 86.4 and 101.6 dBA The OAE testing did not show any significant before and after differences. Discussion. Some individuals achieved good HPD fit, some quite poor. The average noise levels received were excessive, but the daily noise dose would have been within acceptable limits because of the short duration of exposure. This may explain the non-significant differences in OAEs. We recommend that individuals should only use HPDs which are 'fit proven'. Additional testing under more typical conditions with a larger group is required, but OAEs show promise as a practical monitoring tool.
机译:背景。噪声引起的听力损失(NIHL)继续成为军事服务中的普遍存在问题。目的。在听力保护计划的背景下评估“Surefire”耳塞,听力保护装置(HPD)。方法。斯佩里安'Veripro'系统用于测试HPD衰减。耳声发射(OAE)基线测试评估了听力的基线状态。使用B&K精密噪声水平仪测量测试烧制期间的噪声暴露,并进行烧制后的OAE测试,以测量由于过度噪声暴露而导致的听力劣化。结果。 HPD配件中有一个“耳朵之间的差异”,右耳更好的衰减。额定HPDS以84%暴露的84%降低至少15 dB的噪声。实际上,84%的个人将取得8.4至23.6 dBA的衰减。在实践期间的噪声水平平均为110dBa,实际曝光为94 dBa,86.4和101.6dBa之间的84%接受OAE测试在差异之前和之后没有显示任何重要意义。讨论。有些人取得了良好的HPD健康,有些相当差。接收的平均噪声水平过度,但由于曝光持续时间短,每日噪音剂量将在可接受的限度内。这可以解释OAE中的非显着差异。我们建议个人只使用“Fit Proven”的HPDS。需要在更大的典型条件下进行额外的测试,但OAES将承诺作为实际监控工具。



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