Document Type



Community Health Sciences


Objective: Occupational hearing loss is common in the industrialized world. Road noise is a major contributor to perceived environmental noise. The objective of this study was to assess hearing loss in rickshaw drivers due to rickshaw noise.Methods: Hearing loss in rickshaw drivers and taxi drivers of Karachi who were 50 years of age or younger was estimated, with a Smith Hearing Screening (SHS) questionnaire that was modified, translated into the national language, Urdu and field tested prior to administration.Results: Interviews for 91 rickshaw drivers and 94 taxi drivers were completed. All subjects were male; mean ages were 34 and 33 years for rickshaw and taxi drivers respectively. None of the rickshaws were fitted with silencers. Rickshaw drivers were about thrice as likely to be screened as hearing impaired by the SHS questionnaire (RR 2.9, 95% confidence interval 1.6, 5.0), twice as likely to report tinnitus (RR 2.2, 95% confidence interval, 1.1, 3.3) and two and a half times as likely to have difficulty in following telephonic conversations (RR 2.4, 95% confidence interval 1.2, 4.8).CONCLUSION: There is loss of hearing and tinnitus among rickshaw drivers that could be attributed to their trade. Use of silencers by rickshaw drivers could result in less hearing loss among rickshaw drivers and less noise in the environment for the other 11 million residents in the city.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Pakistan Medical Association