Frequency of hearing loss among medical students using electroacoustic device

  • Saba Asghar Jinnah Sindh Medical University
  • Hurtamina Khan Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre/ Jinnah Sindh Medical University
  • Saima Parveen Jinnah Sindh Medical University
  • SM Tariq Rafi Jinnah Sindh Medical University
Keywords: Personal listening devices, Pure Tone Audiometry, medical students, sensorineural hearing loss, noise induced hearing loss, recreational noise


Objective: To determine frequency of hearing loss among medical students using electroacoustic devices like hands free, headphone etc. through Pure Tone Audiometry.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among students at JSMU from December 2019 till February 2020. Ethical approval was obtained against Ref: JSMU/IRB/2019/-215. Calculated sample size was 194. Non-probability convenience sampling technique was employed. Students were invited to ENT OPD JPMC, Karachi. After informed consent, sociodemographic and electroacoustic device usage history was recorded. PTA was performed at octave frequencies for air (0.25-8kHz) and bone conduction (0.5kHz-4kHz). WHO grading of hearing impairment was used. Statistical analyses carried through IBM SPSS. Chi square test, Fischer exact test and independent t test were applied at 95% CI and p value <0.05 as statistical significance.

Results: Out of 246 students, 221 fulfilled inclusion criteria. Male to female ratio was 1:3. Mean age was 21 years (S.D: ±0.927). 96.4% were regularly using electroacoustic devices. 47.9% reported their use over five years. Insert type earbuds (73.8%) were the most preferred. Smartphone being the most common source (90%). Upon PTA, one third of medical students demonstrated sensorineural hearing loss at 0.25kHz and 0.5kHz. 9.5% reported associated tinnitus. Daily listening duration exceeded one hour among 78.8% while 26.4% practiced high volume setting. Males’ average listening duration exceeded that of females (p=0.013). However, their mean audiometric thresholds did not vary significantly.

Conclusions: Mild sensorineural hearing loss was detected among one third of participants using personal listening devices. Precautions should be practiced while using these devices.


How to cite this:
Asghar S, Khan H, Parveen S, Rafi SMT. Frequency of hearing loss among medical students using electroacoustic device. Pak J Med Sci. 2022;38(3):668-673. doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

How to Cite
Asghar, S., Khan, H., Parveen, S., & Rafi, S. T. (2022). Frequency of hearing loss among medical students using electroacoustic device. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 38(3).