7 out of 10 female preschool teachers suffer from hearing problems, according to a Swedish study.
Noise is a major problem
In the study, 39% of female preschool teachers experienced discomfort or physical pain in their ears at least once a week from everyday sounds. In comparison with women in the general population, female preschool teachers reported symptoms of hearing problems earlier in life.
The study also found that women who work as preschool teachers have a more than twofold risk of noise-induced auditory fatigue, hyperacusis and difficulty perceiving speech. 71% of female preschool teachers experienced noise-induced auditory fatigue which made them unable to listen to the radio and 46% had trouble understanding speech.
“Preschool teachers have a much higher risk than those who work in environments with a similar noise rating. The symptoms can be triggered by the boisterous environment and it’s also difficult to use hearing protection,” said study author Sofie Frederiksson, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
About the study
The study consisted of 4,718 female preschool teachers who were compared to 4,122 women in the general population. All participants were aged 22-63 years. They answered a questionnaire and underwent standard clinical hearing tests.
The study “Hearing-related symptoms among women Occurrence and risk in relation to occupational noise and stressful working conditions” was published in University of Gothenburg, Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine in May 2018.