January 7, 2013:
Noisy jobs threaten those with reduced hearing
Workplace noise can be extra annoying if you have reduced hearing. Work is more strenuous and you get tired quicker than those with normal hearing. These are the findings of a Swedish study.
A Swedish study has shown that noisy jobs are risky business for people with reduced hearing. In Sweden alone, 800,000 people are affected by this.
People with reduced hearing are more affected by noise than previously thought. Teachers, health personnel and other occupations where it is important to be able to hear are especially affected. People with reduced hearing can become tired and stressed much quicker than those with normal hearing — especially during and after work.
The study showed among other things:
- People with reduced hearing do as much work as those with normal hearing, but they often become more tired.
- People with reduced hearing generally experience that their work assignments are more strenuous than those with normal hearing.
- Occupations in which hearing plays a significant role are more at risk than others. Especially teachers and health- and care personnel.
- That a noisy work environment is more strenuous when solving mathematic assignments or making decisions which are based on mathematic calculations.
Our short-term memory and being able to recall information plays an important role in most jobs. However, no matter how well this works, reduced hearing will always mean an extra strain.
“The results show much clearer than previously, how strenuous it can be to listen for those who also have to interpret sounds. Language can also be contorted by hearing aids and other devices,” says Björn Lyxell, one of the leading researchers behind the study.
Björn Lyxell is a professor of psychology and vice-principle of the Linnaeus Centre HEAD in Linköping, Sweden.
”Most of our test persons evaluated their physical work presentation lower than a group with normal hearing. This is also true of people with comparatively little hearing impairment,” says doctor and audiologist Håkan Hua, who has worked with the research team.
Håkan Hua also concludes that people with reduced hearing experience that they have worse health generally.
The study group was made up of teachers, day care personnel, industrial workers, administrators, receptionists and health- and care personnel.