Can New Years football damage your hearing? Possibly. Beware of the dangerous decibels!
Hear the World Foundation, a hearing loss awareness initiative by manufacturer Sonova, used a digital sound level meter to determine noise level in the fan zone within the Vila Magdalena neighborhood of São Paulo, Brazil, the host country of the 2014 World Cup. The collective cheers from the neighborhood reached a whopping 116 dB. Unfortunately, our ears can be damaged if exposed to decibels exceeding 90-95 dB for a length of time.
Dangerous Decibels are everywhere
Sporting events are not the only noisy gatherings for which we should wear ear protection. Rock concerts, and parties as well, provide a double-whammy to our hearing with loud music and yelling fans. Yes, even those gorgeous New Years and Fourth of July firework displays can be dangerously loud; not to mention, the firecrackers children so love to light and toss. Riders (motorcycles) are advised to wear hearing protection (even with full-face helmets) as wind noise will eventually damage your hearing – as well as fatigue the rider. All gun ranges require hearing protection be in place – meaning, on your head and over your ears – before you are allowed to enter the range. Beware, the dangerous decibels.
With the big screen TVs and the ease in duplicating the clarity and volume of live events, like football games, we bring the dangerous decibels right into our homes. Turn the volume down, even slightly. If you want to feel the walls vibrate, wear ear protection. Whether attending an event or watching one at home, be mindful of the volume hitting your ears.
Were you aware a full symphony can put our ears at risk? Classical music lovers are advised to bring along ear-plugs if the concert program includes dramatic, loud pieces like those of Beethoven or Stravinsky. Many musicians wear ear protection during practice and a live performance. For example, my husband, a violinist, has pristine hearing. Moreover, he works conscientiously to keep his hearing this way. As the violin can reach decibels as high as 103dB, he wears earplugs when he practices his instrument. Likewise, he wears ear protection when he vacuums. He goes nowhere without his earplugs. He takes no chances with his hearing.
Take a few seconds and search “sound meter” on Google Play or the iPhone App Store. Download one of the free apps to your phone and learn how to use it properly. What is more, our ears can grow accustomed to loud; nevertheless, the meters help us know when we are in range of those dangerous decibels. If the decibels ring in at 90 dB or more, turn the volume down or wear ear protection.
Beware, the “Dangerous Decibels”. Protect your hearing; then, party – or cheer – on!