Noise-induced hearing loss in children

Laryngoscope. 1992 Jun;102(6):645-55. doi: 10.1288/00005537-199206000-00010.


Occupational noise exposure remains the most commonly identified cause of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), but potentially hazardous noise can be encountered during leisure-time activities. NIHL in the pediatric population has received scant attention. This study focuses on 114 children and adolescents (ages 19 and under: 90.3% males) who were diagnosed as having probable NIHL on the basis of history and audiometric configuration. In 42 children the loss was unilateral, while the remaining 72 had sensorineural losses of varying configurations in the contralateral ear. The mean age of referral for evaluation was 12.7 years (range 1.2 to 19.8, SD 4.21), although 26% of these losses were diagnosed in children aged 10 years and younger. Such irreversible, but potentially preventable losses, should be given high priority on the public health agenda. Comprehensive, age-appropriate educational programs must be developed for elementary and secondary students and their parents to acquaint them with potentially hazardous noise sources in their environment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Audiometry
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem / physiology
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Bilateral / etiology
  • Hearing Loss, Bilateral / physiopathology
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / etiology*
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / physiopathology
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / prevention & control
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / etiology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Noise / adverse effects
  • Sex Factors