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Working in preschool increases the risk of hearing-related symptoms
A cohort study among Swedish women Purpose: To assess whether working in preschools increases the risk of hearing-related symptoms and whether age, occupational noise, and stressful working conditions affect the risk. Methods: Questionnaire data on hearing-related symptoms were analysed in women aged 24–65 (4718 preschool teachers, and 4122 randomly selected general population controls). Prevalence and risk ratio (RR) of self-reported hearing loss, tinnitus, difficulty perceiving speech, hyperacusis and sound-induced auditory fatigue were assessed by comparing the cohorts in relation to age...
Emotional stress may affect sound perception
A fresh article by researchers including Dan Hasson at Karolinska Institute and the Stress Research Institute in Stockholm, Sweden concludes that emotional exhaustion in women affects their sound perception in a negative way. The sample of subjects were taken from SLOSH (Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health) and followed up with additional data collection. After being provoked with an acute stress task women who had scored high on emotional exhaustion also showed a greater sensitivity to sounds. This study supports the theory that hearing problems such as hyperacusis (auditory sensitivity...
Patients and staff in intensive care units are exposed to high noise levels
In intensive care units, the main noise sources are hospital staff on duty and medical equipment, which generates both operating noise and acoustic alarms. Results of a survey of hospital staff are presented, as well as measurements in two German hospital wards: a standard two-bed room and a special intermediate care unit (IMC-Unit), each in a different intensive care unit (ICU). An analysis of the survey and the measured data, together with a comparison of thresholds of national and international regulations and standards describe the acoustic situation and its likely noise effects on staff and...
Stress and difficulty communicating in the chemotherapy clinic
This study measured the noise levels in the Portland Veteran's Affairs Medical Center's outpatient chemotherapy clinic. Patients, visitors, and staff members filled out anonymous surveys regarding their reactions to noise levels. Noise measurement analysis indicated that levels were at or above 70 dB SPL for less than ten minutes during the 11-hour recording window. The patient and visitor surveys indicated that both groups were unbothered by noise in the clinic. However, most staff members were bothered by or concerned about noise levels, and many felt that it caused stress and difficulty...
It’s time to let the spring water run! Best masking sound in open office plans.
The performance results and subjective perceptions showed that the spring water sound was the most optimal speech masker whereas vocal music produced negative effects similar to those of speech. Fifty-four subjects were tested in seven sound conditions: speech, silence and five masked speech conditions. The five masking sounds were filtered pink noise, ventilation noise, instrumental music, vocal music and the sound of spring water. They were superimposed on speech. In each of the seven sound conditions, the subjects performed a short-term memory task, a proofreading task and a creative thinking...
Une enquête française révèle que 39 % des travailleurs sont gênés par le bruit au travail
Le bruit au travail augmente de 24 % le risque d'accident avec arrêt de travail . Les ouvriers (57 % d’entre eux) et les personnes travaillant sur les chantiers (71%) sont incommodés par le bruit. De plus, 36 % des employés et 28 % des cadres supérieurs et professions intermédiaires souffrent des nuisances sonores. L’environnement de travail a aussi son importance : 51 % des travailleurs en aire ouverte ou centre d’appels, 47 % des salariés des ateliers de production et 18 % des personnes présentes dans un restaurant d'entreprise...
Acoustical Environments in VCH Health-Care Facilities
Phase 1: Measurement Tools and Pilot Studies High noise levels and poor acoustics in health care facilities can have negative impacts for health care workers, including increased stress, increased aggressive behaviour on the part of patients, and impaired verbal communication. In order to advance understanding in this area, this project tested and refined several research methods and tools and collected preliminary data on noise levels and impacts in three types of health care facilities (acute, residential/long term and community). Source :

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