According to the newly published research by Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden, seven out of ten female preschool teachers suffer from hearing fatigue, one out of two has an issue understanding speech, and four out of ten become hypersensitive to sounds.
While workers in many occupations situated in noisy environments have the ability to protect themselves from the noise, this is not the case for preschool teachers. They have to pay close attention to all of the loud voices and screams, as they may convey important information about the state the children are in.
“Preschool teachers have a much higher risk than those who work in environments with a similar noise rating. The symptoms can be triggered by the boisterous environment, and it’s also difficult to use hearing protection,” says Sofie Fredriksson, an audiologist at Sahlgrenska Academy.
The solutions to the preschool noise problems are complex and may include adjustment to the size of the groups of children, emphasis on time spent outdoor environments, and thoughtful design interventions that would affect room acoustics.