To test if exposure history to rifle fire or cannonade training during military duty can induce hearing loss, history of personal military service and histroy of gunshot exposure were asked to 228 male college students with self -administrative questionnaire. Otoscopic examination and Rinne's test were performed if any abnormal finding was detected by pure-tone audiometry. Average hearing threshold levels of 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, 2,000 Hz, 4,000 Hz and threshold levels at 4,000 Hz were calculated for 112 students who were remained after exclusion of cases with history of ear disease, of ototoxic drug administration, and of neuropsychiatric disease, and mean of those were compared between group of students who have completed military duty (completed group) and group of those who have not (not-completed group), and between group exposed (exposed group) and group unexposed to gunshot sound (unexposed group). Mean of average hearing threshold level and mean of threshold levels at 4,000 Hz of completed group and those of exposed group were higher than those of not-completed group and unexposed group, respectively. Proportion of cases that average threshold level was greater than 40 dB or threshold levels at 4,000 Hz was greater than 50 dB were higher also in completed group and exposed group than in duty not-completed group and unexposed group, respectively Multiple linear regression analysis including age, duration of military service, degree of gunshot sound exposure as independant variables and average hearing threshold level as dependant variable, was performed in order to estimate the effect of age on hearing, and any considerable effect of age on hearing could not be found. In conclusion, hearing impairment can be induced by rifle fire or cannonade training.
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