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Gender variation in age-related hearing loss using pure tone audiometry in city of Bengaluru

Chaitra N D, Chaitra M S, Shivakumar Veeraiah.

Background: Age-related hearing loss is one of the common reasons for disability in our population. There are many studies conducted to find a specific pattern of hearing loss correlating gender and age but have failed to prove a relation.

Aim and Objectives: The purpose of this study was to obtain gender related hearing thresholds and to determine the rate of change in pure-tone hearing thresholds between genders.

Materials and Methods: Subjects were selected after thorough history to exclude any past history of otorrhoea, usage of ototoxic drugs, head injury, and subjects exposed to noise at work place. Pure tone audiometric evaluation was conducted on 46 male and 54 female volunteers from Bengaluru. Hearing levels for frequencies of 0.25, 0.5. 1, 2, 4, and 8 KHz were determined using ARPHI 500 MK 1 audiometer.

Results: The mean hearing ability increases from 17.82 dB at 0.5 KHz to 14.02 dB at 2 KHz in males and from 15.18 dB at 0.25 KHz to 12.50 dB at 1 KHz in females. The average rate of change in threshold was 0.30 dB per decade for males and 0.40 dB per decade for females at 0.25 kHz, increasing/decreasing gradually to 0.62 dB per decade for males and 0.27 dB per decade for females at 8 kHz. Women appear to have faster rate of change in of hearing at the lower frequency of 0.25 KHz. Men had significantly faster rates of threshold increase at 4 and 8 kHz than women. The rate of decline in hearing is faster in males compared to females.

Conclusion: Our study has been able to find gender differences in hearing thresholds between genders and found that females have better hearing ability than males. It also found that rate of decline in hearing levels was faster in males compared to females.

Key words: Hearing Threshold; Hearing Loss; Pure Tone Audiometry

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