Profiling acute acoustic trauma in Belgian defense forces
H. Vanmaele, J. De Brouwer, G. Borgers, P. Germonpre, J.B. Watelet
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium; Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Queen Astrid Military Hospital, Neder-Over-Heembeek, Belgium; Centre of Medical Expertise, Queen Astrid Military Hospital, Neder-Over-Heembeek, Belgium; Centre for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Queen Astrid Military Hospital, Neder-Over-Heembeek, Belgium.
Occupational; Noise induced hearing loss; acute acoustic trauma; military personnel
247 - 255
Objectives: Military personnel are considered at risk of exposure to acute acoustic trauma (AT) and potential noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). This study aimed to profile the Belgian military to determine risk factors for AT and objective hearing loss after AT. Methodology: This retrospective cohort included 192 members of the Belgian Defense Forces that had sustained ATs from 2013 to 2017. The main cohort included military personnel admitted to the military hospital after anAT. Subgroup 1 included those with objective hearing loss within one week after theAT; subgroup 2 included patients with objective hearing loss that persisted for 6 weeks. Potential risk and prognostic fâ–Żactors were analyzed with logistic regression. Results: The at-risk population susceptible to developing an AT (main cohort) were mostly young volunteers (49%) with a mean age of 26 years and a mean seniority of 5.4 years. These individuals were in training (66%), using rifles and submachine guns (70%), and were active in the land force (71%). Military staff that did not wear adequate hearing protective devices, those that had finished training, and those with high seniority were at increased risk of objective hearing loss within 1 week after anAT. Conclusion: Demographic and environmental factors that increased the risk of exposure to anAT differed from factors associated with objective hearing loss after an AT. Therefore, these different demographic profiles can be of great importance in military hearing protection campaigns.
Vol. 15, 2019, 4th trimester

Profiling acute acoustic trauma in Belgian defense forces