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Carmela Carnevale, Giuseppe Messano, Emanuele Gerace, Stefano Petti, Enzo M Vingolo, Roberto Grenga; Environmental noise in cataract surgery. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):2535. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate the environmental noise (EN) produced by the equipment during cataract surgery. Daily exposure for 8 h to noise levels of 85 dB(A) (measure system which focuses on the potential hearing loss) is associated with permanent hearing loss. The environmental noise is a source of concern among ophthalmologists, who sometimes feel to suffer by hearing impairment or annoyance.
During a surgical session performed at the Department of Ophthalmology (Sapienza University of Rome) ten cataract surgery interventions were made by three different ophthalmologists. For each intervention the mean EN level and the noise peak we measured using a sound level meter placed close to the surgeon. The mean values, with 95% confidence intervals (95CI) of these parameters were assessed.
The mean duration of each intervention was 10’40” (range, 6’7”-20’32”). The mean EN was 67.39 dB(A) (95CI, 64.11-70.67) and the peak was 101.57 dB(A) (95CI, 97.92-105.22). These parameters were not associated with the duration of the intervention.
According to WHO, EN levels of 55 dB(A) in the workplace are associated with annoyance, irritation and may be detrimental for performance. Levels >65 dB(A) increase the risk for cardio-vascular diseases. The results of this pilot study, if will be confirmed by the large sample-sized study, suggest that EN during cataract surgery could be detrimental for health among ophthalmologists.
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