Experience live sports safely with these hearing protection tips.
There’s nothing quite like a night (or day) out at a sporting event! You can feel the excitement of the crowd, enjoy classic concession stand foods, and watch your favorite athletes (whether they’re professional or your friends or family) compete. In all the excitement, however, it’s important to be aware of the sounds around you, especially if the noise level escalates to potentially harmful levels.
Between sound effects, the announcer talking over the loudspeaker, the buzzer, a band, and the cheering of the crowd, sporting events are full of sounds that may have the potential to damage hearing. In the past, crowd noises at large professional sporting events have been shown to exceed 100 decibels – well over the safe 70-decibel level and the 90-decibel threshold where hearing damage is possible. While the noises at your neighborhood sports league are likely just fine, it’s good to be aware when attending events at indoor arenas or professional events that incorporate loud music and sounds to “enhance” the fan experience.
Thankfully, there are ways to enjoy watching a game while still protecting your hearing health! Here are our hearing protection tips for sporting events:
- Wear ear protection
- Try noise-canceling headphones
- Take breaks
- Limit exposure
Continue reading for more information about each of these tips.
Wear ear protection
Perhaps the simplest way to protect your hearing while still enjoying a sporting event is to use ear protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs. These options are effective and typically inexpensive, easy to stow in a pocket, bag or purse, and a breeze to take off when you reach a quieter area or the noise dies down.
Try noise-canceling headphones
If you’re at a large professional sporting event that’s so noisy it’s challenging to hear the announcers, consider bringing a pair of noise-canceling headphones! These can help protect your ears on their own, plus you can tune into a broadcast and follow along with the action without missing a word.
Prolonged exposure to loud sounds like the buzzers and cheering inside a stadium or arena can take a toll on your hearing. Schedule regular breaks where you step outside to a quieter area to give your ears a rest. Be sure to pay attention to how your body is feeling — if your head or ears hurt from the sounds, it may be time for a break or to find a quieter spot to watch from.
Limit exposure to elevated sounds
If possible, try to limit how often you’re exposed to the loud noises of a sporting event. Attending a football game every weekend can add up to significant damage, so stagger the sporting events you attend to allow your ears to get a break. That may mean catching a game from the comfort of your living room on occasion, but your ears will thank you!
With these hearing protection tips for sporting events, you can follow along with your favorite team while still looking out for your hearing health. For more useful hearing protection tips for this season, check out our blog posts on protecting your hearing in the fall, at concerts, and at work.