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Noise exposure during pregnancy and hearing in children

Study

© Emily Cahal - sxc.hu

A new cohort study has shown that noise exposure during pregnancy can damage the unborn child’s hearing, with an 80% increased risk in noisy occupational environments.

Until recently, it was assumed that unborn children where shielded from noise in the womb but it has been demonstrated that loud noise does in fact reach the fetus. The study carried out by the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM) at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden provides new evidence that women should avoid exposure to high levels of noise while they are pregnant.

The study, to be published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, included a cohort of over 1.4 million children born in Sweden between 1986 and 2008. Data collected included their mother’s occupation, smoking habits, age, ethnicity, body mass index, leave of absence, and socio-economic factors. Results showed that for the group of part-time and full-time workers, the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for hearing dysfunction associated with maternal occupational noise exposure greater than 85 dB versus less than 75 dB was 1.27 (95% CI). For full-time workers as a group, the HR was 1.82 (95% CI).

“The Swedish Work Environment Authority recommendation is that pregnant women should avoid noise levels of over 80 dBA, but unfortunately this recommendation is not always followed,” says Jenny Selander, lead author for the study. “Our study shows how imperative it is for employers to observe this recommendation. Even if pregnant women themselves use ear protectors in noisy environments, the babies they’re carrying remain unprotected.”

Source: Karolinska Institutet; Selander J, et al. Maternal Occupational Exposure to Noise during Pregnancy and Hearing Dysfunction in Children: A Nationwide Prospective Cohort Study in Sweden. Environmental Health Perspectives 2015 Dec 8.

C.S.

Registration now OPEN for ground-breaking UK audiology event
Registration now OPEN for ground-breaking UK audiology event

Conference

BAA/BSA/BSHAA

Registration is now open for "Towards A Connected Future", the first-ever joint conference from the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists, the British Academy of Audiology and the British Society of Audiology.

EUHA Congress 2017: New products and service tools
EUHA Congress 2017: New products and service tools

EUHA2017

A total of 135 companies from 21 different countries presented their product portfolios during the 62nd International Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians held in Nuremberg from October 18 to 20. From small enterprises to the majors, from world-first innovations to tried and tested products – in a space of over 15,000 square meters, there was much to be discovered.

The effects of hearing loss on relationships
The effects of hearing loss on relationships

Study

© iStock

Hearing loss has been shown to be associated with a wide range of other health problems, including depression, concentration difficulties, memory issues, and even dementia. New evidence now adds interpersonal communication breakdown to the list.

Specific protein mutations affecting the cochlea may contribute to early hearing loss
Specific protein mutations affecting the cochlea may contribute to early hearing loss

SNHL

© 9nong - iStock

A recent study carried out by researchers working at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (USA) showed that a master-switch protein, epithelial splicing regulatory protein 1 (ESRP1), may be associated with non-syndromic sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL).

Specialist fire alarms for the hearing impaired
Specialist fire alarms for the hearing impaired

Tech

© JackValley - iStock

Technology is now helping to improve fire detection systems, including those for people with difficulty hearing. Newsroom New Zealand reports on the importance of these devices.

Hearing loss prevalence and better hearing to keep the brain active
Hearing loss prevalence and better hearing to keep the brain active

Figures

© fotojog - iStock

According to a study published in the journal Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore – AAMSan estimated 422,000 older adults in Singapore suffer from hearing loss and over 100,000 may have disabling hearing impairment.

Designing “sense-sensitive” environments for seniors
Designing “sense-sensitive” environments for seniors

Study

© monkeybusinessimages - iStock

Decreasing abilities involving sight and hearing are commonly recognized as part of aging, but touch, smell and taste may also become less acute.

Company Directory

New products

Sennheiser launches new assistive listening devices a EUHA congressSennheiser launches new assistive listening devices a EUHA congress

To optimize speech and music, the Set 860 features three hearing profiles, while the Set 880 model offers five profiles to tailor the sound to the customer’s needs and preferences. © Sennheiser

At the International Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians (EUHA), held on 18-20 October in Nuremberg, Sennheiser was expanding its Hearing Care portfolio with the launch of the new Set 880 and Set 860 assistive listening devices.  [ ... ]

Rayovac reveals “no battery lasts longer”** than its Active Core TechnologyRayovac reveals “no battery lasts longer”** than its Active Core Technology

Rayovac debuted its ‘Active Core Technology’ product for the first time in Europe, which offers consumers longer lasting, high quality performance throughout the life of the battery, at the EUHA in Nuremberg.  [ ... ]

Oticon Opn™ connects to all modern smartphones, delivering extraordinary sound experience in stereo

Oticon expands Oticon Opn™’s wireless connectivity options to benefit even more hearing aid users.  [ ... ]