Are you a big sports fan? Whether it’s football or baseball, your favorite sports events are extremely loud affairs, with cheering fans, blaring music, loud announcements, and you and your friends shouting encouragement to your favorite players. However, no matter how much you’re enjoying the game, you’ve forgotten one important thing: you are risking your hearing health.
With the endless battle between fans to see who can be the loudest, these competitions can be fun but could have some serious consequences when it comes to your hearing health. Noise induced hearing loss is the result of exposure to dangerously loud sounds, and any noise over 85 decibels (dB) could damage your hearing. Hearing loss is often a gradual process, as we’re exposed to loud noises during our compute to work, at the gym, or on the jobsite. Some of our favorite leisure activities can also be extremely loud, and sports events, music concerts, or a night out with friends can all risk your hearing health.
Noise induced hearing loss can also be sudden, and if you’re exposed to excessively loud sounds, even for a short period of time, one evening could permanently damage your hearing.
The crowd noise at a typical NFL game can be between 80 – 90 dB, and could definitely cause hearing loss, says Jack Wrightson of the acoustical consulting firm Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams, Inc. in Dallas. When all the fans start cheering wildly, the noise levels can reach well above 110 dB! With games lasting close to 3 hours, everyone in the stadium is risking their hearing health. Even the architecture of the stadium can increase the sound, concentrating the noise in the stands where the fans are sitting.
If you’re exposed to these high noise levels for several hours without wearing hearing protection, warns the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NOISH), you risk hearing loss. When sounds over 85 dB increase by just 3 dB, the recommended exposure time is cut nearly in half. If you’re exposed to sounds over 110 dB, even a few minutes of exposure can cause a lot of damage to the delicate cells in your inner ear, and lead to permanent and irreversible hearing loss. In one game you can experience hearing loss, but if you go to games every week, you’ll be increasing the strain on your ears, and you’re far more likely to experience hearing loss.
Many sports fans complain about leaving the stadium with a ringing in their ears, and many report that this ringing or buzzing sound never stops. Tinnitus is an early warning sign of hearing loss, and this ringing, whistling, or roaring sound in your ears cannot be cured. Tinnitus can interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep, focus on tasks, or enjoy a quiet evening at home with your family.
Noise induced hearing loss is completely preventable! For just a few dollars, you can have a bag full of foam earplugs to share with your family and friends, and you can enjoy all the excitement of a live game without damaging your hearing.
If you have children or infants, don’t take them to the game without a pair of earmuffs. These do more to protect hearing than foam earplugs, and you’ll easily be able to see if the earmuffs are in place. Children are especially susceptible to noise induced hearing loss, and their ears can’t handle the same noise levels at yours.
If you’re a die-hard sports fan, and are worried about your hearing, visit us today at Hearing Aid Specialists of the Central Coast. We’ll start with a comprehensive hearing test to determine your level of hearing loss, and discover what hearing aids will work for you. Whether you’re struggling to follow conversations in places with a lot of background noise, or are straining to hear the voices of women and children, we have the perfect hearing aids to help you hear, whatever your lifestyle and hearing needs.