Acta Scientific Otolaryngology (ASOL) (ISSN: 2582-5550)

Research Article Volume 4 Issue 5

Extended High-frequency Smartphone Audiometry as an Early Indicator of Auditory Fatigue in Call Centre Operators

Jolandi Hitge-Ludick1*, Lidia Pottas2 and Maggi Soer2

1Principal, B Communication Pathology (Audiology), Department of Speech-language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
2Professor, Ph.D (Audiology), Department of Speech-language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

*Corresponding Author: Jolandi Hitge-Ludick, Principal, B Communication Pathology (Audiology), Department of Speech-language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Received: November 25, 2021; Published: April 30, 2022


Introduction: The study aimed to determine whether extended high-frequency (EHF) smartphone audiometry may be used as an early indicator of auditory fatigue in call centre operators.

Materials and Methods: A repeated-measures research design was selected to compare results of conventional frequency and EHF smartphone audiometry within the same participants, before and after an eight-hour work shift. Audiometric testing was performed in 50 participants aged 19 to 30 years (mean ± standard deviation: 24.8 ± 2.9 years), the participants were all employed at the company for six months (50%) or longer (50%). No health conditions, exposure to ototoxic medication, or previous exposure to occupational noise were reported. Participants completed a questionnaire regarding medical history, perception of hearing, noise and habits in the call centre, and fatigue. Ambient noise levels in the call centre were measured in the call centre at different times during the day for five consecutive days.

Results: Findings revealed statistically significant temporary threshold shifts (TTS) at 500 Hz, 1 000 Hz, 3 000 Hz, 12 500 Hz, and 16 000 Hz ranging from 5 to 20 dB. Changes in thresholds occurred after an eight our work shift in the call centre. Noise-level measurements indicated ambient noise levels in the call centre environment ranging from 64 to 85.3 dBA. Hearing-related symptoms including aural fullness and otalgia (46%), tinnitus (54%), and sensitivity to loud noises (48%) were reported by call centre operators.

Conclusion: Prolonged exposure to auditory stimuli at moderate intensity levels through the headset together with high ambient noise levels and minimal breaks in between calls may result in auditory fatigue followed by TTS in conventional and extended high frequencies.

Keywords: Call Centre; Auditory Fatigue; Extended High Frequency (EHF); Temporary Threshold Shift (TTS)


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Citation: Jolandi Hitge-Ludick., et al. “Extended High-frequency Smartphone Audiometry as an Early Indicator of Auditory Fatigue in Call Centre Operators".Acta Scientific Otolaryngology 4.5 (2022): 23-29.


Copyright: © 2022 Jolandi Hitge-Ludick., et al. 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 author and source are credited.


Acceptance rate34%
Acceptance to publication20-30 days
Impact Factor0.871

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