The effect of occupational noise exposure on tinnitus and sound-induced auditory fatigue among obstetrics personnel: a cross-sectional study.
Bottom Line: Sound-induced auditory fatigue was associated with work-related stress and noise annoyance at work, although stress slightly missed significance in a multivariable model.No significant interactions were found.This study presents new results showing that obstetrics personnel are at risk of noise-induced hearing-related symptoms.
Affiliation: Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Overall, the dosimeter measurements from the labour ward showed moderately high sound levels, as presented in table 1. The levels reached or exceeded the action and the limit levels. The lower action level 80 dB LAeq was exceeded in 30 different dosimeter measurements during 28 different work shifts, which corresponds to 46% of all measured shifts or 6% of all dosimeter measurements. The upper exposure action level and exposure limit 85 dB LAeq was reached or exceeded in three measurements from three different shifts, corresponding to 5% of all measured shifts or 0.6% of all measurements. The limit 115 dB LAFmax was reached or exceeded on 50 different occasions. However, of these, nine separate events could not be verified by the written logs and were therefore excluded. The remaining 41 events occurred in 17 different shifts corresponding to 28% of all measured shifts or 8% of all dosimeter measurements. There were no statistical differences in arithmetic mean, neither equivalent nor maximum levels were statistically different in different work shifts, or in measurements from dosimeters worn by midwives compared to assistant nurses. Owing to incomplete written logs, however, we were unable to categorise a third of the measurements into professional group. A segment sample from a dosimeter measurement is shown in figure 1, where high maximum levels (119 dB LAFmax) were recorded during a delivery, which, according to the written log, occurred between 22:30 and 23:05. The equivalent level in this particular measurement was 84 dB LAeq(10 h) for the measured shift length. As exposure limits should be regarded with HPDs taken into account, it is noteworthy that the majority of the respondents (92%) reported to never or almost never using hearing protective devices at work.
Affiliation: Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.