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   2019| January-February  | Volume 21 | Issue 98  
    Online since February 19, 2020

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Sensitivity and Specificity of Automated Audiometry in Subjects with Normal Hearing or Hearing Impairment
Åsa Skjonsberg, Catrine Heggen, Meisere Jamil, Per Muhr, Ulf Rosenhall
January-February 2019, 21(98):1-6
Objective: To investigate the sensitivity and specificity in an automatic computer-controlled audiometric set-up, used for screening purposes. Design: Comparison between standardized audiometry and automated audiometry performed in the same participants. Study Sample: In total, 100 participants (51 females and 49 males) were recruited to take part of this study the same day they visited the hearing clinic for clinical audiometry. Ages varied between 18 and 84 years (mean 45.9 in females, 52.3 in males). Results: The participants were divided into groups, dependent of type of hearing. A total of 23 had normal hearing, 40 had sensorineural hearing loss, 19 had conductive hearing loss and 18 showed asymmetric hearing loss. The sensitivity for the automated audiometry was 86%–100% and the specificity 56%–100%. The group with conductive hearing loss showed the poorest sensitivity (86 %) and specificity (56 %). The group with sensorineural hearing loss showed the smallest variation in difference between the two methods. Conclusions: The results show that automated audiometry is a method suitable to screen for hearing loss. Screening levels need to be selected with respect to cause of screening and environmental factors. For patients with asymmetric hearing thresholds it is necessary to consider the effect of transcranial routing of signals.
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Analysis on Risk Factors of Depressive Symptoms in Occupational Noise-induced Hearing Loss Patients: A Cross-sectional Study
Xiao-Feng Deng, Guo-Qi Shi, Li-Li Guo, Chuan-An Zhu, Yong-Jun Chen
January-February 2019, 21(98):17-24
DOI:10.4103/nah.NAH_16_18  PMID:32098927
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk factors of depressive symptoms in occupational noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) patients. Methods: A total of 106 patients were divided into depressive symptoms (ONHLPD) and without depressive symptoms (non-ONHLPD) according to the Self-rating Depression Scale. Questionnaires and laboratory data were collected and analyzed. Data were analyzed with independent t-test, Wilcoxon test, Pearson correlation analysis and multiple linear regression models. Results: The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 53.8% in occupational NIHL patients. In ONHLPD, duration of the hearing loss, level of serum cortisol, scores of Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and Tinnitus Handicap Inventory were all significantly higher than those of non-ONHLPD. Conclusion: The prevalence of depressive symptoms was relatively high in occupational NIHL patients. Duration of the hearing loss, sleep quality and tinnitus severity were the risk factors for occupational NHIL patients with depressive symptoms.
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Selected Cognitive Factors Associated with Individual Variability in Clinical Measures of Speech Recognition in Noise Amplified by Fast-Acting Compression Among Hearing Aid Users
Wycliffe K Yumba
January-February 2019, 21(98):7-16
DOI:10.4103/nah.NAH_59_18  PMID:32098926
Objective: Previous work examining speech recognition in more challenging listening environments has revealed a large variability in both persons with normal and hearing impairments. Although this is clinically very important, up to now, no consensus has been reached about which factors may provide better explanation for the existing individual variability in speech recognition ability among hearing aid users, when speech signal is degraded. This study aimed to examine hearing-sensitivity skills and cognitive ability differences between listeners with good and poor speech recognition abilities. Materials and Methods: A total of 195 experienced hearing aid users (33–80 years) were grouped by higher or lower speech recognition ability based on their performance on the Hagerman sentences task in multi-talker babble using fast-acting compression algorithm. They completed a battery of cognitive abilities tests, hearing-in-noise and the auditory thresholds test. Results: The results showed that the two groups did differ significantly overall on cognitive abilities tests like working memory, cognitive processing speed and attentional shifting, but not on the attentional inhibitory test and non-verbal intelligence test. Conclusions: Listeners with poor compared to those with better speech recognition abilities exhibit poorer cognitive abilities, which place them in a disadvantaged position, and /or more susceptible to signal modifications (as a result of fast-acting compression signal processing), resulting in limited benefits from hearing aids strategies. The findings may have implications for hearing aid signal processing strategies selection in rehabilitations.
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Assessing Hidden Hearing Loss After Impulse Noise in a Mouse Model
Ryan T Harrison, Eric C Bielefeld
January-February 2019, 21(98):35-40
DOI:10.4103/nah.NAH_38_18  PMID:32098929
Introduction: There are several key differences between impulse and continuous noise: the nature of the noise itself, the cochlear and neuronal structures affected, the severity to which they damage the auditory system, and the period of time in which damage occurs. Notably, no work on hidden hearing loss after impulse noise exposure has been done to this point, though it has been extensively studied after continuous noise. Hidden hearing loss manifests physiologically with reductions in suprathreshold amplitudes of the first wave of the auditory brainstem response, while auditory thresholds can remain relatively normal. Objective: This study aimed to assess the extent to which, if at all, hidden hearing loss is present after exposure to impulse noise in C57BL6/J mice. Methods: Thirty-one C57BL6/J mice were used in the experiment, in accordance with IACUC protocols. Auditory brainstem responses were recorded before and after noise exposures. The noise exposures consisted of 500 impulses at 137 dB peSPL. Results: Suprathreshold amplitude reductions in the P1 wave of the mouse auditory brainstem response were seen, but only at frequencies with significant threshold shift. Conclusion: These amplitude changes were consistent with hidden hearing loss, and we conclude that impulse noise can cause hidden hearing loss, but future studies are required to determine the specific mechanisms involved and if they parallel those of hidden hearing loss after continuous noise.
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Sound Exposure of Choristers
Stephen M Dance, Georgia Zepidou
January-February 2019, 21(98):41-46
DOI:10.4103/nah.NAH_40_19  PMID:32098930
Choir singing is a very popular activity with 4.5% of the European population regularly participating. London South Bank University was approached in January 2019 by St Paul’s Cathedral to undertake noise dosimetry for the Music Department. Rehearsals and performances were identified and measured using acoustic instrumentation to determine if the choristers, adult choir, choir master or organist were compliant with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. These data were then matched to the daily and weekly work schedules of the musicians and the sound exposure estimated. The adult choir, organist and choir master were found to be under the set daily limits, 85 dBA (LEP,d). The most exposed chorister was above this limit. However, when adjusted for their shorter working year and using the weekly noise exposure limit of 87 dBA (LEP,w), the estimated exposure was compliant with the regulations. Recommendations were presented to the Music Department focusing on management techniques to reduce the weekly exposure of the choristers without effecting the spirit, tradition or musicality of the performance. It was also strongly suggested to reduce the number of performances for the boys by introducing a second choir.
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Male/female Differences in Radial Arm Water Maze Execution After Chronic Exposure to Noise
David Fernández-Quezada, Diana Moran-Torres, Sonia Luquin, Yaveth Ruvalcaba-Delgadillo, Joaquín García-Estrada, Fernando Jáuregui-Huerta
January-February 2019, 21(98):25-34
DOI:10.4103/nah.NAH_23_19  PMID:32098928
Introduction: Noise is one of the main sources of discomfort in modern societies. It affects physiology, behavior, and cognition of exposed subjects. Although the effects of noise on cognition are well known, gender role in noise-cognition relationship remains controversial. Aim: We analyzed the effects of noise on the ability of male and female rats to execute the Radial Arm Water Maze (RAWM) paradigm. Materials and Methods: Male and female Wistar rats were exposed to noise for 3 weeks, and the cognitive effects were assessed at the end of the exposure. RAWM execution included a three-day training phase and a reversal-learning phase conducted on the fourth day. Escape latency, reference memory errors, and working memory errors were quantified and compared between exposed and non-exposed subjects. Results: We found that male rats were in general more affected by noise. Execution during the three-day learning phase evidenced that male exposed rats employed significantly more time to acquire the task than the non-exposed. On the other hand, the exposed females solved the paradigm in latencies similar to control rats. Both, males and females diminished their capacity to execute on the fourth day when re-learning abilities were tested. Conclusion: We conclude that male rats might be less tolerable to noise compared to female ones and that spatial learning may be a cognitive function comparably more vulnerable to noise.
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