When you think of football, what comes to mind? Most likely the answer is crowded sports bars, parties with friends and cheering on your favorite team. While we encourage you to have fun this year during the big game, we also want you to preserve your hearing for many Super Bowls to come.
Stadium Noise Protection
If you’re one of the lucky 65,000 people with a seat at the Hard Rock Stadium, know that stadium noise levels are no joke. In 2014, the Kansas City Chiefs landed the title of loudest NFL stadium, clocking in at 142.2 dB. That’s even louder than a jet flying 100 feet overhead! Safe noise levels are considered anything under 85 dB. A pair of earplugs, whether custom made for comfort or purchased from the drugstore for cost efficiency, can help preserve your hearing.
Safe Noise Levels at Home
Even if you’re not watching in person, a noisy bar or a party in someone’s home can pose a hazard to your hearing health. People love cheering loudly for their team, which in turn causes the host to turn up the TV loud enough to hear, which then makes people talk louder to be heard over the background noise.
Rather than contributing to this vicious cycle, try keeping the television turned down to a moderate level. Your friends will likely adjust their volume so everyone can enjoy the game.
If you’re watching from a bar or restaurant, you won’t have the luxury of turning down the television. Instead, step outside for about ten minutes every hour to give your ears a break. This can help prevent next-day tinnitus or hearing loss associated with noise exposure.
Recovering After Noise
Despite your best efforts, you may still have some difficulty hearing after the game is over. Tinnitus is common for a few days after attending a loud party, concert or any other noisy event. Try limiting your caffeine intake and enjoying only quiet activities on Monday morning to give your ears a break.
If you have hearing loss that persists more than 48 hours after a loud activity, it’s important to see a hearing specialist, as you may be experiencing sudden sensorineural hearing loss. A hearing test can determine your type and degree of hearing loss as well as prepare you for a treatment plan.