A new study has revealed that extended exposure to loud workplace noise may affect the quality of sleep in workers with occupational-related hearing loss. The study, published in the journal Sleep, compared the sleep quality of individuals in a particular workplace, and surveyed individuals both with workplace noise-related hearing loss and without.
The study found that tinnitus (or constant ringing in the ears) due to workplace-related hearing damage was the most common reason for sleep disturbances such as trouble falling asleep, waking too early in the morning, waking in the middle of the night, excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring and moving around while sleeping.
It’s not the first time that sleep problems and hearing problems have been found to be linked in some way. Research in previous years has also highlighted the other dangers of being exposed to loud noises for extended periods of time. Cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and sleep disturbances are all possible effects of prolonged noise exposure, significantly reducing the health and quality of life of the individual. Sleep disturbances may also cause continuing problems in adults who had hearing and sleeping problems as a child. Hearing aids can improve an individuals’ hearing, but prevention is always the best option.
In addition, ear nose and throat problems have been cited as a possible underlying cause of sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea. For example, an untreated ear infection could cause prolonged swelling of the ear canal and nasal tubes, causing an individual to have difficulty breathing while sleeping.
The link can also work the other way, with doctors reporting that sleeping problems could cause the hearing loss in the first place. “Every patient that I see with sudden sensorineural hearing loss has a history and exam consistent with an underlying sleep-breathing disorder” Dr. Steven Park, a medical blogger has said.
These recent scientific findings indicate that there are a number of different factors which need to be taken into consideration when diagnosing and treating hearing loss. Treatment can also better be prescribed if the cause of hearing problems is known.
If you have any questions about herring loss contact Hidden Hearing.