Protecting Your Ears During the Super Bowl

Super Bowl Ear ProtectionThe Philadelphia Eagles are set to play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII and if there’s one thing Philadelphia sports fans are known for, it’s cheering for the home team passionately and loudly. In fact, Eagles’ fans were so loud during the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 21 that they could be heard three miles away in parts of New Jersey.

According to the American Academy of Audiology, noise levels at sporting events can reach up to 110 decibels. Noise levels this high can be dangerous after just 30 minutes of exposure.  

“When you walk out of a noisy situation and your ears feel stuffy or your hearing is muffled, or if you are hearing a ringing sound once you get away from the loud environment, you’re experiencing the damaging effects of noise,” said Dr. Lindsay Bondurant, director of the Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI).

Exposure to loud noise levels can lead to tinnitus—often referred to as a ringing in the ear, and to hearing loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 26 million adults suffer hearing damage as a result of noise exposure. Noise induced hearing loss can be temporary or permanent and can affect one or both ears.

In most cases, noise induced hearing loss is preventable but it’s important to take precautions.

With Super Bowl Sunday just days away, here are some ways to protect your hearing:
 
  • Cover your ears: Wearing ear plugs or ear molds is one of the easiest ways to protect your ears when exposed to noisy environments. Make sure they are inserted properly into your ear to ensure effective protection.  If you attend sporting events or other loud venues on a regular basis, you can also invest in customizable devices.
  • Keep your distance: Whether in the stands or in front of the big screen, most sports fans prefer to be seated as close as possible. While having a front row seat offers the best view, it can be the worst place for your ears. Consider choosing a seat that keeps you a safe distance away from the source of the loud sound.
  • Take a break: The longer the exposure to the loud noise, the greater the risk. If you’re at the game, you can head to the concession area or to the restroom. If you’re at a crowded Super Bowl party, you can step outside or go to a quieter room to give your ears a rest. Taking a break from the noise can decrease the chance of permanent hearing damage.
“Even if your hearing seems to get back to normal after a few hours, you may find that repeated exposure to loud sounds eventually results in hearing loss that doesn’t recover,” said Dr. Bondurant. “That’s when you would need a treatment plan that addresses the communication issues that go along with permanent hearing loss.”

If you suspect that you may have some degree of hearing damage, PEI offers comprehensive hearing evaluations, individualized treatment plans and customized hearing protection options.

For more information on PEI’s services or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, please call 215.780.3180.