KUMJ | VOL. 1 | NO. 3 | ISSUE 3 | JULY-SEPT, 2003

Environmental noise induced hearing loss in Nepal
Joshi SK, Devkota S, Chamling S, Shrestha S

Introduction: Noise pollution in urban cities is a serious problem and steadily increasing over the years. This has
direct and indirect affect to the people that can lead to the health hazard. Objectives: To find out environmental
noise induced health effect on people residing in an urban community and to predict the risk of the environmental
noise induced hearing loss Material and methods: One hundred fifty questionnaires were filled up for the
environmental noise pollution survey. For the case control study, 36 exposed and 25 non-exposed residents of
Kupondole were included. Based on the place of residence (main road and 20 min. walking distance from the main
road), subjects were divided into exposed and non-exposed group concerning environmental noise. Demographic
data and information about health problems was obtained by a structured interview. Audiometric test was performed
using manual audiometer. Odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for noise induced hearing
loss were estimated using logistic regression. Adjustment for occupational noise was done Results: The major
health effect induced by the environmental noise was observed as lack of concentration followed by irritation,
fatigue and headache. The crude OR and 95% CI for the exposed subjects was 4.2 (1.4, 12). After adjustment for
occupational noise, the OR (95% CI) was 4.0 (1.2, 13). Conclusion: This study shows that exposure to noise causes
wide range of health effects. For the exposed subjects there was an increased risk of noise induced hearing loss. The
risk was significantly increased also after adjusting for occupational noise.

Keyword : Environmental Noise, Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), Audiometric Test, Noise Pollution Survey, Nepal