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Hearing management

Updated 04 December 2017

Hearing loss keeps workers awake

Work-related hearing loss can lead to sleep problems, a new study has found.

Work-related hearing loss can lead to sleep problems, a new study has found.

Israeli researchers gave hearing tests to 298 male employees at a workplace where they were exposed to harmful noise and found that 99 of the workers had a hearing impairment and 199 had normal hearing. Those with hearing problems tended to be older and to have been exposed to workplace noise for a longer time.

The condition known as tinnitus, which is a continual ringing in the ears, was noted in 51% of those with hearing loss and 14% of those with normal hearing.

Tinnitus and sleeping problems

Tinnitus was reported as the main sleep-disrupting factor among the workers. However, insomnia and other sleep problems were also found among those with other hearing impairments, and neither age nor years on the job seemed to play a role in that finding, the researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, said.

The study, which was carried out by medical student Tsafnat Test under supervision of Dr Einat K. Sheiner and others, was published in the journal Sleep.

"The homogeneous study population exposed to identical harmful noise at the same workplace allowed us to compare sleep quality between similar groups differing only by hearing status," Test explained.


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Hearing Expert

Minette Lister graduated with a Bachelor of Communication Pathology (Audiology) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville in 2015. Thereafter, she completed her compulsory year of community service at Phoenix Assessment and Therapy Centre in Durban. In 2017, Minette started working for Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. She is passionate about working with children and adults to diagnose and manage hearing loss using state of the art technology. Minette offers hearing screening programmes for newborn and high-risk babies, as well as school-aged children, in order to decrease the incidence of late or unidentified hearing loss.

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