Is jet fuel exposure associated with central auditory nervous system difficulties: An exploratory study in military personnel

Laura Dreisbach, Sara Murphy, Reginald Arevalo, Caroline Schlocker, Tanner Miller, O'Neil Winston Guthrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Central auditory nervous system dysfunction (CANSD) can manifest as hearing difficulty in the absence of audiometric abnormalities. Effects of noise or jet fuel exposure on the CANS are documented in animal models and humans. This study screened military personnel using the modified Amsterdam Inventory for Auditory Disability (mAIAD) to assess whether concurrent jet fuel and noise (JFN) exposures potentiate central auditory difficulties compared to noise only exposures. A total of 48 age- and sex-matched participants were recruited: 24 military bulk fuel specialists (JFN) and 24 military personnel without jet fuel exposure. All participants completed the mAIAD, the Noise Exposure Questionnaire, and basic audiological testing. Results revealed non-significant differences in pure-tone thresholds between groups, but the JFN group had higher noise exposures. Additionally, the JFN group revealed consistently lower mAIAD scores compared to the noise only group. Interestingly, a JFN stratified subgroup reporting more listening difficulty exhibited statistically significant lower mAIAD scores in the speech intelligibility in noise subdomain. These preliminary data suggest that jet fuel exposure may potentiate noise-induced CANSD, such as speech-in-noise difficulties. Such difficulties may be more prominent among specific military personnel with combined exposures. Hearing conservation programs could add CANSD screening by use of the mAIAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2027-2038
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume151
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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