The correlation between hair and eye colour and contralateral suppression of otoacoustic emissions

12 Aug 2020

Genetics and environmental factors frequently influence individual’s susceptibility to hearing loss. It is postulated that melanin in the inner ear is related to individual’s susceptibility to noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). General pigmentation in turn, suspected to be related to the amount of pigmentation in the inner ear. The amount of melanin in the inner ear is said to modulate the endocochlear potential and provide an otoprotective effect. Aim: The study aimed to determine the relationship between the contralateral suppression of otoacoustic emissions (CSOAE) in individuals with brown eyes and hair, and blue eyes and blond hair, and temporary emission shift (TES) after short-term noise exposure. Setting and Design: The research was conducted using a quantitative research design with a quasi-experimental repeated within the subject design to compare the CSOAE in subjects with different hair and eyes colour with TES after short-term noise exposure. Quantitative research was used to determine the relationship between the measurable variables to predict occurrence. Material and Method: The hearing sensitivity of young adults was determined by using pure tone audiometry followed by CSOAE’s and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) before listening to music for one hour individually. Pure tone audiometry and DPOAE’s were repeated after music exposure to determine the amount of TES and temporary threshold shift (TTS). Statistical Analysis used: One-way ANOVA was used during the analysis of the data obtained during this research study, in addition to, two-tailed Wilcoxon Sign Rank test and Friedman’s test. In all analyses, a 95% level of significance (P<0.05) was used. Results: No statistically significant difference between efferent suppression was measured by CSOAE’s between the participant groups. A larger TTS at 4000 Hz and TES at 2000 Hz was evident in the blue eyes and blond hair group after short-term music exposure. Conclusion: CSOAE’s were unable to predict which group of individuals were more susceptible to NIHL after short-term noise exposure.