Living With a Hearing Aid

Big game? Big noise!

Reading Time: 4 min.

With basketball season in full swing, we thought it would be a good time to talk about game day and our hearing. No matter who you’re rooting for, things can get loud – and we don’t mean just in the arena. Wherever you like to settle in and watch a good game, make sure you take a moment to protect your hearing. You’ll want to hear that final buzzer clearly!

Congratulations on scoring tickets! Ensure you’re fully prepared with hearing protection, because things are going to get loud. Sports reporters have measured noise levels at NBA games at up to 109 decibels. Exposure to noises louder than just 85 decibels over time can lead to hearing loss. So, while you’re over by the snack bar, make sure you grab a pair of ear plugs, too. Watching the game at a bar?

Sports bars and pubs can be surprisingly loud, too, and can even warrant some hearing protection. Here’s why. A group of Oticon audiologists visited popular sports bars during playoffs, measuring noise levels. On average, those levels hovered around the 70-decibel range, which is like the sound of a vacuum cleaner. However, during big plays they spiked to 110 decibels – more like the sound of a jackhammer. And even construction workers wear hearing protection.

If it feels like sports fans are getting louder, that’s because they are. In 2014, fans in Kansas City reached an unbelievable 142.2 decibel crowd roar and set a Guinness World Record in the process. That’s louder than a jet plane, and prolonged exposure can actually cause physical pain and injury.

Don’t worry; you don’t have to skip the game and you don’t have to miss out on the exciting sounds, either. Just take these tips into consideration:

  • Use ear protection, like earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones. Or, set your hearing devices to the arena or bar’s loop system (if a loop system is available) for a direct broadcast of the game with less crowd noise.
  • Take “noise” breaks by stepping away to a quieter area regularly to give your ears a rest. If you find yourself experiencing an earache or headache, you definitely need a break.
  • Limit your exposure to loud noises; for example, if you have season tickets, you may not want to attend every single game. Your ears will thank you later.

Remember, professional basketball games last about two and a half hours – this counts as prolonged exposure and taking a minute to protect your hearing is worth it. 

To learn more, and how Oticon hearing devices can help you, contact a hearing care provider in your area today.

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