This summer has been packed to the brim with exciting sporting events, with the British Grand Prix, Wimbledon, and plenty of cricket to boot. And of course we can’t forget the fantastic victory we had at the Women’s Euros.
It’s an amazing experience to be a spectator and see our sporting legends battle it out. But did you ever stop to think how the noise from the crowds (or the sport itself) could affect your ears?
But how loud is too loud?
According to RNID, around 12 million of us in the UK are affected by hearing loss. Damaging our ears through exposure to loud noises is one of the top causes.
The World Health Organisation advises that sounds up to 85 decibels (dB) are safe for our ears. That’s roughly equivalent to motorway traffic noise or food blender. Anything above that 85 dB threshold could cause temporary or even permanent damage – especially if exposed to it for an extended period.
So, what are the average decibel levels for some of this summer’s top sporting events?
1. Formula 1
An acoustics engineer who measured the decibel levels at three separate locations of an F1 track found that peak noise levels could reach up to 140 dB. That’s only just below the level known to cause immediate, permanent
According to WHO, during the FIFA World Cup 2010, sound levels went up to 100.5 dB – and you can expect the same for similar stadium-type events. That’s harmful even for short periods, so your ears will certainly be at risk if you’re watching multiple live events
Ok, this one is highly unlikely to damage your ears, but did you know that the infamous grunting at tennis matches can exceed 100 dB? That’s a similar noise level to chainsaws and motorbikes. What a racket!
How to protect your ears
The good news is that there’s an easy way to protect yourself against noise-induced permanent hearing loss. A good pair of custom-made earplugs will let you enjoy the sport you love without damaging your ears.
At The Hearing Care Partnership, we have a range of specialist ear plugs to suit everyone’s needs. Take a look here.
Another good idea is to have regular breaks. Can you get away from the crowd’s commotion during halftime? Even a quick toilet or water break outside the stands will give your ears some time off from the ruckus.
Worried about your hearing? Book an appointment today
If you’re worried that you’re suffering from hearing loss due to loud noise exposure, or any other reason, you can book an appointment to come and see one of our friendly audiologists. We offer free hearing tests, ear wax removal, and tinnitus consultations, as well as expert advice on how to care for your ears, hearing protection, hearing aids and more.