06 Mar 2018

With Spring swiftly approaching and basketball in full force, March is an exciting month for many! People gather in jam-packed arenas of cheering fans and boisterous pep bands, getting pumped to root on their favorite team. Unfortunately, with such elevated levels of energy comes high decibels. Not only are high decibels in a roaring crowd a communication nightmare to someone suffering from hearing loss, it can also damage the hearing of someone who arrived with perfectly good ears.

Of course, the best way to prevent further hearing damage is to skip the buzzers and whistles altogether but, to some die-hard basketball enthusiasts, this just isn’t an option.

The National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) states that exposure to 110 decibels or above can cause permanent hearing loss after only one minute of exposure. Hearing experts recommend no more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure to sounds that are 100 dB or more, and no more than 1 minute of unprotected exposure to sounds at 110 decibels.  The decibel level at a typical NCAA tournament basketball game is 115 decibels! Whether or not you suffer from hearing loss, hearing protection at tournament games is crucial (ESPECIALLY FOR CHILDREN). Invest in a pair of earplugs or ear muffs with the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) that best suits your needs. If you are unsure, contact your local health professional.  Don’t put yourself at risk for noise-induced hearing loss.

If you’re disappointed that you must watch the game from home this year because it’s just too hard on your ears, don’t fret, you have many options safely bring the excitement into your own living room! One option is the Beltone TV Streamer, which sends crystal clear stereo sound (link) to your hearing instruments from the TV. You’ll be able to hear the game clearly while still being able to communicate with your loved ones, without being muffled by the crowd.