- Published on 17 December 2015
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.
"You don't sound like you're retiring," I had to say, halfway through an hour-long chat with Erich Spahr, who confirms he is severing ties completely with an industry after a long career breathing life into it. This lynchpin of Bernafon since 1984 still seems clearly focused on the present and the future.[ ... ]
Future of Audiology: 2031
Will people in 2031 be wondering how they ever lived without hearing aids, as a majority would now say about their smartphones? GN Hearing CEO Gitte Aabo predicts that the role of data will acquire so much importance in the next ten years that people with "unaided ears" will not doubt the need for aids.
FUTURE OF AUDIOLOGY: 2031
The fourth of our audiology figures to be consulted on a prediction for the 2031 hearing sphere, Starkey's Dr. Archelle Georgiou, bases her vision on four current trends.
Everyone using hearing instruments has their own, individual, listening needs. BIHIMA spoke with Unitron’s Director of Clinical Research, Don Hayes about how technology has improved user experience and the work they are doing to continue to improve this.
Government facilitation of Nigeria's cochlear implant market could bring benefit for many more child CI candidates in the country, says Dr. Biodun Olusesi, President of the Otorhinolaryngological Society of Nigeria.
Sixty percent of audiologists recommend over-55s have annual hearing tests, reveals a recent survey by the British and Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA). The organisation is calling for testing to be mandatory.
“Effortless”is the key idea behind the latest hearing aid portfolio released by US manufacturer, Starkey: “effortless hearing, effortless connection and effortless selection”.[ ... ]
Leading battery manufacturer RAYOVAC has introduced what it labels its most powerful hearing aid battery to date: Sound Fusion Technology.[ ... ]
ActiveVent and CROS P are the latest additions to Phonak's Paradise line of hearing aid technology, now the best-selling platform in the company's history.[ ... ]