Is your favourite sport damaging your ears? - AudioClinic

Is your favourite sport damaging your ears?

It wouldn't be a surprise to hear that Aussies are a little sports crazy. Home to games such as cricket, AFL and rugby union, it's no wonder that just under 8 million Australians tune into the AFL alone on a regular basis1.

Just under 8 million Australians tune into the AFL alone on a regular basis.

However, nothing quite beats attending a live sports game to truly immerse yourself in the atmosphere. But, unlike watching a game on TV, you can't turn the volume down when things get a little too noisy.

With this in mind, how could watching your favourite sport be damaging your ears?

Cheering, chanting and cognitive deprivation

Although chants from the crowd and screams of excitement add to the overall atmosphere of a match, it's not the only thing sports fans may leave with. Hearing loss is something that many live sport event attendees may experience, whether they are aware or not.

It's reported that one in six Australians live with some form of hearing loss2, with the most common cause being overexposure to loud noise. Sounds are measured in decibels (dB) and like anything that can cause damage, there are recommended guidelines for safe hearing.

How loud is too loud?How loud is too loud?

Worthy of a world record and ear plugs

According to Safework NSW, if an individual is exposed to noise levels in excess of 85 dB for long periods of time, they run the increased risk of permanent hearing damage3. In addition, for every 3 dB increase in noise, the advised exposure time is cut in half.

The average sports crowd can reach sound levels of 120-129 dB, according to WebMD, which is well above the recommended guideline and can increase the chances of experiencing tinnitus or other forms of hearing loss4.

Holding the world record for the loudest crowd roar at a stadium are the attendees at a Kansas City Chiefs game, who reached noise levels of 142.2 dB5– louder than a jet engine taking off!

Attendees at a Kansas City Chiefs game reached noise levels of 142.2 dB – louder than a jet engine taking off!

How you can protect your hearing

One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to protect your hearing at live sports events is ear plugs. Wearing any form of noise cancelling device can help to reduce sounds up to 20-30 dB – creating a safer listening experience!

If you're worried about your own hearing, call the team at AudioClinic. Those over the age of 26 are eligible to receive a no cost* hearing assessment. Call us on 1800 940 984 or click here to book. 

1Roy Morgan, AFL is clearly Australia's most watched Football Code, while V8 Supercars have the local edge over Formula 1. Accessed August 2017
2Hearnet, The Facts On Hearing Loss. Accessed August 2017
3Safework NSW, Noise. Accessed August 2017
4WebMD, Harmful Noise Levels – Topic Overview. Accessed August 2017
5Guiness World Records, Loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium. Accessed August 2017

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