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   2015| May-June  | Volume 17 | Issue 76  
    Online since April 27, 2015

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Noise pollution and annoyance: An urban soundscapes study
Karina Mary de Paiva Vianna, Maria Regina Alves Cardoso, Rui Manuel Calejo Rodrigues
May-June 2015, 17(76):125-133
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.155833  PMID:25913551
Since 1972, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared noise as a pollutant. Over the last decades, the quality of the urban environment has attracted the interest of researchers due to the growing urban sprawl, especially in developing countries. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of noise exposure in six urban soundscapes: Areas with high and low levels of noise in scenarios of leisure, work, and home. Cross-sectional study. The study was conducted in two steps: Evaluation of noise levels, with the development of noise maps, and health related inquiries. 180 individuals were interviewed, being 60 in each scenario, divided into 30 exposed to high level of noise and 30 to low level. Chi-Square test and Ordered Logistic Regression Model (P < 0,005). 70% of the interviewees reported noticing some source of noise in the selected scenarios and it was observed an association between exposure and perception of some source of noise (P < 0.001). 41.7% of the interviewees reported some degree of annoyance, being that this was associated with exposure (P < 0.001). There was also an association between exposure in different scenarios and reports of poor quality of sleep (P < 0.001). In the scenarios of work and home, the chance of reporting annoyance increased when compared with the scenario of leisure. We conclude that the use of this sort of assessment may clarify the relationship between urban noise exposure and health.
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Exposure to music and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among professional pop/rock/jazz musicians
Dana N Halevi-Katz, Erez Yaakobi, Hanna Putter-Katz
May-June 2015, 17(76):158-164
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.155848  PMID:25913555
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) has been extensively studied in industrial work environments. With the advent of new technologies, loud music has been increasingly affecting listeners outside of the industrial setting. Most research on the effects of music and hearing loss has focused on classical musicians. The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between the amount of experience a professional pop/rock/jazz musician has and objective and subjective variables of the musician's hearing loss. This study also examined professional pop/rock/jazz musicians' use of hearing protection devices in relation to the extent of their exposure to amplified music. Forty-four pop/rock/jazz musicians were interviewed using the Pop/Rock/Jazz Musician's Questionnaire (PRJMQ) in order to obtain self-reported symptoms of tinnitus and hyperacusis. Forty-two of the subjects were also tested for air-conduction hearing thresholds in the frequency range of 1-8 kHz. Results show that the extent of professional pop/rock/jazz musicians' exposure to amplified music was related to both objective and subjective variables of hearing loss: Greater musical experience was positively linked to higher hearing thresholds in the frequency range of 3-6 kHz and to the subjective symptom of tinnitus. Weekly hours playing were found to have a greater effect on hearing loss in comparison to years playing. Use of hearing protection was not linked to the extent of exposure to amplified music. It is recommended that further research be conducted with a larger sample, in order to gain a greater understanding of the detrimental effects of hours playing versus years playing.
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The impact of road traffic noise on cognitive performance in attention-based tasks depends on noise level even within moderate-level ranges
Sabine J Schlittmeier, Alexandra Feil, Andreas Liebl, Jürgen Hellbrück
May-June 2015, 17(76):148-157
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.155845  PMID:25913554
Little empirical evidence is available regarding the effects of road traffic noise on cognitive performance in adults, although traffic noise can be heard at many offices and home office workplaces. Our study tested the impact of road traffic noise at different levels (50 dB(A), 60 dB(A), 70 dB(A)) on performance in three tasks that differed with respect to their dependency on attentional and storage functions, as follows: The Stroop task, in which performance relied predominantly on attentional functions (e.g., inhibition of automated responses; Experiment 1: n = 24); a non-automated multistage mental arithmetic task calling for both attentional and storage functions (Exp. 2: n = 18); and verbal serial recall, which placed a burden predominantly on storage functions (Experiment 3: n = 18). Better performance was observed during moderate road traffic noise at 50 dB(A) compared to loud traffic noise at 70 dB(A) in attention-based tasks (Experiments 1-2). This contrasted with the effects of irrelevant speech (60 dB(A)), which was included in the experiments as a well-explored and common noise source in office settings. A disturbance impact of background speech was only given in the two tasks that called for storage functions (Experiments 2-3). In addition to the performance data, subjective annoyance ratings were collected. Consistent with the level effect of road traffic noise found in the performance data, a moderate road traffic noise at 50 dB(A) was perceived as significantly less annoying than a loud road traffic noise at 70 dB(A), which was found, however, independently of the task at hand. Furthermore, the background sound condition with the highest detrimental performance effect in a task was also rated as most annoying in this task, i.e., traffic noise at 70 dB(A) in the Stroop task, and background speech in the mental arithmetic and serial recall tasks.
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Elucidating the relationship between noise sensitivity and personality
Daniel Shepherd, Marja Heinonen-Guzejev, Michael J Hautus, Kauko Heikkilä
May-June 2015, 17(76):165-171
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.155850  PMID:25913556
Sensitivity to unwanted sounds is common in general and clinical populations. Noise sensitivity refers to physiological and psychological internal states of an individual that increase the degree of reactivity to noise in general. The current study investigated the relationship between the Big Five personality dimensions and noise sensitivity using the 240-item NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI) and 35-item The Noise-Sensitivity-Questionnaire (NoiSeQ) scales, respectively. Overall, the Big Five accounted for 33% of the variance in noise sensitivity, with the Introversion-Extroversion dimension explaining the most variability. Furthermore, the Big Five personality dimensions (neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) had an independent effect on noise sensitivity, which were linear. However, additional analyses indicated that the influence of gender and age must be considered when examining the relationship between personality and noise sensitivity. The findings caution against pooling data across genders, not controlling for age, and using personality dimensions in isolation.
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Farm and rural adolescents' perspective on hearing conservation: Reports from a focus group study
Marie-Anne S Rosemberg, Marjorie C McCullagh, Megan Nordstrom
May-June 2015, 17(76):134-140
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.155836  PMID:25913552
This study explored the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of rural and farm adolescents regarding hearing conservation strategies. This qualitative study took place at two high schools in rural Michigan. Twenty-five adolescents living and working on farms or living in rural areas participated in one of two focus groups. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were coded and analyzed by two researchers and checked by an additional researcher to ensure reliability. Noise exposure was ubiquitous among participants, both in farm-related (e.g., equipment, livestock) and non-farm-related (e.g., music, firearms) activities. Perceived barriers to use of hearing protection devices outweighed perceived benefits, resulting in uncommon use of protection. When hearing protection was used, it was usually earmuffs or earplugs. Participants indicated a lack of training in noise hazards and protective strategies. Despite their acknowledged risk of hearing loss, participants did not associate their use of hearing protection today with their hearing ability later in life. Categories emerging that relate to hearing protector use included: Barriers, benefits, self-efficacy, situational influences, impersonal influences, cues to action, susceptibility, and severity. Farm and rural adolescents are at risk for noise exposure and hearing loss. The findings stress the significance of work environment and adult modeling in facilitating hearing conservation behaviors. As indicated by the youths' recommendations, school-based interventions may be an effective approach to address this health concern. Intervention studies are needed to test various approaches that can effectively promote use of hearing conservation strategies among rural and farm adolescents.
  4,126 22 -
Noise stress changes mRNA expressions of corticotropin-releasing hormone, its receptors in amygdala, and anxiety-related behaviors
Evren Eraslan, Ibrahim Akyazi, Elif Ergül-Ekiz, Erdal Matur
May-June 2015, 17(76):141-147
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.155838  PMID:25913553
Noise is a psychological, environmental stressor that activates limbic sites in the brain. Limbic sites such as the amygdala and the amygdaloid corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) system play an important role in integrating stress response. We investigated the association between noise exposures, CRH-related molecules in the amygdala, and behavioral alterations. In total 54 Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into the following three groups: Control (CON), acute noise exposure (ANE), and chronic noise exposure (CNE). The ANE group was exposed to 100 dB white noise only once in 4 h and the CNE group was exposed to the same for 4 h per day for 30 days. Expression profiles of CRH and its receptors CRH-R1 and CRH-R2 were analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). The same stress procedure was applied to the ANE and CNE groups for behavior testing. The anxiety responses of the animals after acute and chronic stress exposure were measured in the defensive withdrawal test. CNE upregulated CRH and CRH-R1 mRNA levels but downregulated CRH-R2 mRNA levels. ANE led to a decrease in both CRH-R1 and CRH-R2 expression. In the defensive withdrawal test, while the ANE increased, CNE reduced anxiety-like behaviors. The present study shows that the exposure of rats to white noise (100 dB) leads to behavioral alterations and molecule-specific changes in the CRH system. Behavioral alterations can be related to these molecular changes in the amygdala.
  4,003 21 -
Comment on "Concerns with amplitude variation in calibrated audiometer systems in clinical simulations"
David C Byrne, Christa L Themann, Mark R Stephenson
May-June 2015, 17(76):172-172
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.155851  PMID:25913557
  3,017 18 -
Joining hands with World Health Organization initiative Make Listening Safe
Saurabh R Shrivastava, Prateek S Shrivastava, Jegadeesh Ramasamy
May-June 2015, 17(76):173-174
DOI:10.4103/1463-1741.155854  PMID:25913558
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