Noise is one of the harmful agents to health that is present in the various branches of economic activity. Hearing loss and tinnitus are among the most frequently reported complaints by workers exposed to occupational noise.
The objective of this study was to analyze the hearing and tinnitus in normal-hearing workers exposed to occupational noise. This is a cross-sectional analytical trial in metallurgical industries, in which we evaluated normal-hearing workers through anamnesis, audiometry, and otoacoustic emissions.
A high prevalence of failure of otoacoustic emissions (40%) and tinnitus (66.6%) was observed. Both in the amplitude and in the signal/noise ratio, the higher the frequency of the sound, the worse the results. Despite having audiometry within normal limits, the results indicate that workers are suffering the effects of exposure and reveals association between failure of otoacoustic emissions and tinnitus in this population.
It is concluded that failures in distortion product otoacoustic emissions and tinnitus are predictors of hearing damage in normal-hearing workers.