Hearing loss in the workplace: What’s in the news? (1-7 Feb)

Slide1Sunday 7 February

 If you’re busy trying to juggle work and home life, then you might not have had time to catch up on  the news and social media this week.   Here’s a roundup of the highlights from my timelines, that should bring you up to date.  
  • The impact of the Zika virus on your hearing
  • New study from the USA on the prevalence of hearing difficulty and tinnitus amongst workers
  • Plans to privatise the Access to Work scheme
  • New study on the impact of hearing aids on memory, speech and working life
  • Hearing loss of oil and gas workers – double that of other industries
  • Free online course on Deafness in the 21st Century
  • Tinnitus Awareness Week
  • Plus a range of diary dates for conferences and webinars

How much harm can the Zika virus really do?

Doctors are trying to understand the full impact of the Zika virus and some evidence is emerging of it causing temporary deafness.

Prevalence of hearing difficulty and tinnitus amongst workers

new study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), examines hearing difficulty and tinnitus as two potentially debilitating physical conditions that are prevalent in the United States, especially among workers from the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting industries. It claims that more than 22 million people are affected.

Limping Chicken: Plans to privatise Access to Work

The Limping Chicken website highlight an article in the Mirror newspaper this week about the potential plans to privatise the Access to Work scheme.

Impact of hearing aids on memory, speech and working life

A study from the University of Texas has reported that the use of hearing aids improves brain function as well as working life. “Think about somebody who is still working and they’re not wearing hearing aids and they are spending so much of their brainpower just trying to focus on listening. They may not be able to perform their job as well. Or if they can, they’re exhausted because they are working so much harder. They are more tired at the end of the day and it’s a lot more taxing. It affects their quality of life.”

Hearing loss of oil and gas workers is double that of other industries

A health and safety bulletin just released in British Columbia, highlights the fact that around 33% of people working in the oil and gas industries suffer from hearing loss – twice that of other noisy industries. It recommends a range of actions that the industries need to take.

Deafness in the 21st Century

This is a free 6 week on-line course from the University of Manchester on deafness in low and middle income countries.  It is primarily aimed at those working as health or education professionals, government officials, support workers, NGOs and anyone with a family or personal interest in deafness.

Tinnitus Awareness Week

If you’ve been on social media this week, you can’t have missed the fact that its Tinnitus Awareness Week next week.  Check out the website of the British Tinnitus Association for details of lots of upcoming events.

For those on Twitter, there’s also a live Q&A on Tinnitus Research on Wednesday 10th between 1-2pm.  Follow @EBroomhead for more details.

Some Diary Dates

Noise hazards and their effects on health – Webinar 11 February

3m and Action on Hearing Loss are running a joint webinar at 2pm on Thursday 11 February on noise induced hearing loss.  Register here.

Ear Foundation: Adult Hearing Screening conference – 17 March

The Ear Foundation are planning a conference in London on 17 March on the subject of Adult Hearing Screening.  (Some of you might recall my recent blog ‘From hearing screening to hearables’ about the outcome of the latest deliberations of the National Screening Committee on the future of the programme.)

British Society of Audiology – annual conference 25-27 April

This is the leading UK scientific forum for clinicians and researchers who have an interest in hearing, tinnitus and balance.

Hearing Loss Association of America: 2016 Convention 23-26 June

The Hearing Loss Association of America has announced the details of its convention for 2016 which will be held in Washington, DC between 23-26 June.  Looks an interesting programme.

Association of Speech Language Interpreters (ASLI) – annual conference on 1-2 October 

The next ASLI conference will be held on 1-2 October in Newcastle upon Tyne  Check out ASLI’s webpage for their call for abstracts along with details of the conference theme and venue.

This week’s blogs

And finally of course, here’s another opportunity to check out my blog posts from earlier this week: “Personal stories from the workplace: Hilary the company director”, and “Time to talk…about hearing loss” encouraging greater discussion of hearing loss in order to reduce stigma.


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