Whether you love cheering on the Dodgers or can’t wait for football season to start so that you can catch the Rams playing at SoFi Stadium, there’s nothing quite like rooting on your favorite team live and in person.
While sporting events can be exhilarating, all the crowd noise, music and other sounds in the stadium can reach volumes that can be harmful to your hearing. Let’s take a look at why this is, as well as a few ways to keep your ears safe the next time you’re taking in a game.
Sporting Events Can Increase Your Risk of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
It’s not a secret that loud noise can harm your hearing. However, many people underestimate the volume at which damage can start to occur. While louder sounds can cause hearing problems in a shorter amount of time, prolonged exposure to any noise over 85 decibels (dB) can put you at risk for noise-induced hearing loss.
Research has shown that sporting events can reach levels louder than what is safe and affect attendees’ hearing. One study published in 2014 tested the noise levels at ten intercollegiate basketball games as well as measured the hearing of attendees both before and shortly after the game.
Researchers discovered that not only did noise at six of the ten basketball games exceed acceptable noise intensity levels, but participants also experienced a temporary change in their hearing thresholds after the game.
Use Hearing Protection at Sporting Events
You can still enjoy going to live sporting events while taking steps to reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that you and your family wear proper hearing protection while at the game. This could be in the form of earplugs, earmuffs or noise-canceling headphones.
Use whatever protection you are most comfortable wearing, and that reduces the volume while still letting you hear the sounds you need and want to.
Take Breaks During the Game
Sporting events usually last several hours, and prolonged exposure to loud noise can cause problems for your ears, even if temporary. To combat this, take regular breaks where you step away to quieter areas. It’s especially important to do this if you notice any symptoms like a headache or ear pain from the sound.
Visiting a Hearing Specialist
If you have muffled hearing or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) for more than 24 hours after attending a sporting event or other symptoms that concern you, make an appointment with a hearing specialist. They can perform a hearing test, examine your ears and determine if you have permanent hearing loss that requires hearing aids or any other treatment.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact Sound Advice today.