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   2019| November-December  | Volume 21 | Issue 103  
    Online since September 18, 2020

 
 
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES
The effect of noise exposure on the vestibular systems of dental technicians
Safa Alqudah
November-December 2019, 21(103):223-231
DOI:10.4103/nah.NAH_51_19  PMID:32978359
Background: Noise exposure is the primary cause of acquired hearing loss in several occupational settings, including dental laboratories and clinics. However, the impact of noise exposure on the vestibular system is not as well researched. Purpose: To investigate the nature of vestibular damage caused by working in dental laboratories and clinics with high levels of noise exposure due to loud dental equipment. Research Design: A descriptive, case study design was used to evaluate the vestibular function of dental technicians. Study Sample: Out of 30 dental technicians, 5 males who had been working for several years in dental settings were selected based on their reports of severe symptoms of imbalance. Data Collection: Audiologic evaluations were conducted in the vestibular unit of the Doctor Tarek Khrais Center in Amman, Jordan, for one year. Each subject underwent several hearing tests, which included otoscopic examination, pure tone audiometry (PTA), impedance measurements, and speech testing. Assessment of vestibular function was then conducted using a diagnostic test battery which included electrocochleography, ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (oVEMP), cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (cVEMP), positional testing using the Thomas Richard-Vitton (TRV) chair, and standing stability testing. Results: All test subjects experienced some form of vestibular impairment, including benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), endolymphatic hydrops (Meniere disease), or a combination of both. Three out of five cases displayed little or no hearing loss, indicating that vestibular function is more at risk than hearing acuity to continuous noise exposure in dental settings. Conclusions: Exposure to loud noise in dental laboratories severely impacts the functioning of the vestibular system of the inner ear more than the cochlea. The main clinical implication of this study is that regular vestibular assessments are a necessity for dental technicians.
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Effect of compression release time of a hearing aid on sentence recognition and the quality judgment of speech
Hemanth Narayan Shetty, Suma Raju
November-December 2019, 21(103):232-241
DOI:10.4103/nah.NAH_54_19  PMID:32978360
Context: The sentence recognition score and quality of speech differ when hearing aid compression is set at different release times at different signal to noise ratios (SNRs) for the normal and compressed rate of sentences. Aims: To investigate the effect of amplitude-compression release time of a hearing aid on sentence recognition and quality judgment: (1) for normal rate and time-compressed sentences (2) in quiet and noisy conditions. Settings and Design: A post-test repeated measures design. Methods and Material: We recruited fifteen adult participants with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss in each group, the younger (35–45 years), and the older ones (60–70 years). A gap detection test assessed temporal processing ability. We used three compression settings, fast-acting, slow-acting, and linear. Sentence recognition and quality and envelope difference index in normal and altered rates were assessed in quiet and in noise at these three compression settings. Statistical analysis used: A repeated measure ANOVA. Results: We found a significant improvement in recognition of sentences at a normal rate in slow compression release time, compared to fast and linear gain settings at each SNR. Similar results were observed for sentences compressed at the rate of 35% in quiet and +10 dB SNR. Further, the participants preferred the quality of speech in quiet with the hearing aid set to slow compared to fast compression release time. The benefit from the slow compression release time was higher than either linear or fast compression release time on sentence recognition. Further, we saw that there was a negative impact on sentence recognition at 3 dB SNR (normal-rate) and in quiet (35% compression rate) in older adults. Conclusions: The slow compression release time in a hearing aid is superior to the fast one in noisy conditions and also with higher subjective ratings of speech quality in quiet.
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How paramedics perceive internal noise in ambulance? sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) and Subjective Noise Assessment
Marcin Cybulski, Katarzyna Wiecheć, Marcin Zieliński, Bartosz Imre Bilski
November-December 2019, 21(103):242-247
DOI:10.4103/nah.NAH_10_19  PMID:32978361
Introduction: This article discusses the correlation between sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) as a feature of personality and temperament and paramedics’ subjective perception of noise inside an ambulance. Description of the theoretical basis of SPS has been strongly depicted. Materials and methods: Polish translation of SPS 12-item short scale and a survey concerning the subjective perception of noise inside an ambulance have been used in this research. Assessment of noise included its three sources: emergency vehicle siren, resistance of rolling tires and noise produced by diesel engines. 46 paramedics from mobile emergency care units working in Poznan and the Poznan’s district have taken part in the research. Paramedics with higher SPS results were selected, creating a highly sensitive people (HSP) group. Results: When non-HSP people were compared to paramedics from the HSP group, an emergency signal was considered more burdensome for HSP paramedics. The intensity of noise generated by the vehicle’s suspension elements and tires was significantly higher in cars more than 3 years old. Older paramedics (≥30 years old) evaluated the intensity as well as burdensomeness of noise generated by suspension’s elements and tires, higher than the younger (<30 years old) ones. Conclusions: Both paramedics and drivers as occupational groups are liable to noise, which seems to be particularly harmful and burdensome to the HSP group. Further studies should be provided in this area. This may lead to an increase not only in their productivity but also in their quality of life.
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Pathways and contingencies linking road traffic noise to annoyance, noise sensitivity, and mental Ill-Health
Angel M Dzhambov, Boris Tilov, Desislava Makakova-Tilova, Donka D Dimitrova
November-December 2019, 21(103):248-257
DOI:10.4103/nah.NAH_15_20  PMID:32978362
Context: Traffic noise may contribute to depression and anxiety through higher noise annoyance (NA). However, little is known about noise sensitivity (NS) and mental health status as contextual factors. Objective: We tested three hypotheses: (1) Traffic noise is associated with mental ill-health through higher NA; (2) Mental ill-health and NS moderate the association between traffic noise and NA; and (3) NS moderates the indirect effect of traffic noise on mental ill-health. Subjects and Methods: We used a convenience sample of 437 undergraduate students from the Medical University in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (mean age 21 years; 35% male). Residential road traffic noise (LAeq; day equivalent noise level) was calculated using a land use regression model. Depression and anxiety symptoms were measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire 9-item (PHQ-9) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7) scale, respectively. NA was measured using a 5-point verbal scale. The Noise Sensitivity Scale Short Form (NSS-SF) was used to measure NS. To investigate how these variables intertwine, we conducted mediation, moderation and moderated mediation analyses. Results: LAeq was indirectly associated with higher PHQ-9/GAD-7 scores through higher NA, but only in the low NS group. The relationship between LAeq and NA was stronger in students reporting depression/anxiety. While high NS was associated with high NA even at low noise levels, LAeq contributed to NA only in students low on NS. Conclusions: We found complex conditional relationships between traffic noise, annoyance and mental ill-health. Understanding respective vulnerability profiles within the community could aid noise policy and increase efficacy of interventions.
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