Audiology in Brief A new study by University of Michigan researchers suggests working in loud places can raise blood pressure levels. The findings, published in the latest issue of Archives of Environmental Health, were based on a study in a Midwest auto assembly plant that connects noise exposure with elevated levels of ... News in Brief
Free
News in Brief  |   January 01, 2006
Audiology in Brief
Author Notes
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   January 01, 2006
Audiology in Brief
The ASHA Leader, January 2006, Vol. 11, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.11012006.5
The ASHA Leader, January 2006, Vol. 11, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.11012006.5
Noise and Blood Pressure
A new study by University of Michigan researchers suggests working in loud places can raise blood pressure levels. The findings, published in the latest issue of Archives of Environmental Health, were based on a study in a Midwest auto assembly plant that connects noise exposure with elevated levels of systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate.
The researchers studied different types of noise in the factory setting: continuous “usual” noise (41–103 dB), elevated continuous noise (46–124 dB), and spikes in instantaneous loud noises (113–145 dB). The team outfitted participants with mobile monitors to take blood pressure readings and record noise levels throughout the day. Noise readings were taken every minute, while heart rate and blood pressure were taken every 10 minutes.
The study team concluded that blood pressure is more affected by overall noise exposure while the instantaneous peak noises affect heart rate.
Paying Through the Ear
An old method that purports to remove earwax is part of upscale spa treatment in Washington, D.C. The Georgetown Aveda spa offers candling—along with massage—to remove earwax. Flame-retardant cloth is draped around a customer’s face. A 12-inch hollow candle is lit and the non-burning end is inserted into the ear canal. The treatment involves holding the candle in place while massaging the face and shoulders.
Clinical studies have shown no evidence that candling removes ear wax. Researchers for a study in the journal Laryngoscope concluded that ear candles did not produce a vacuum. Their report showed that candling not only didn’t remove ear wax but it even deposited candle wax in some ears.
Ear Implant Will Help Deaf to Hear Music
Audio technologists at Britain’s National Physical Laboratory and Institute of Nanotechnology have developed a prototype implant intended to help deaf people hear music clearly. Designed to be attached to the cochlea, the implant is composed of tiny bar-shaped elements coated with a piezoelectric film. The bars vibrate in response to sounds.
By adjusting the length and diameter of each element, the researchers can tune each bar to resonate in response to a different, narrow range of frequencies. When the bar vibrates, the flexing of its coating produces a tiny voltage that is transmitted directly to the auditory nerve in the cochlea, which then hands on the signal to the brain.
The prototype cochlear implant has four vibrating bars. The scientists intend to boost this to 10 bars to pick up speech and believe 20 or more will be needed for listening to music. The implant was reported in the British weekly New Scientist.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
January 2006
Volume 11, Issue 1