February 2nd is the day many have been waiting for all year – the 54th Super Bowl. While we may not know which team will bring home the title, there is one sure thing about this football tradition: you have to protect your hearing.
Going to the Game
If you are one of the lucky few who scored tickets to this event, you should begin planning how to protect your hearing now.
Football stadiums are loud. In 2014, The Kansas City Chiefs broke the record of loudest NFL stadium, with a noise output of 142.2 decibels (dB). That’s louder than a jet plane flying just 100 feet overhead. For reference, sounds are considered safe at 85 dB and below.
Wearing proper hearing protection at an event of this level is required to keep your ears safe. While disposable earplugs can be purchased at any local pharmacy, the best protection comes in the form of custom-made earmolds. Created from a physical or digital impression of your ear, these molds are made to fit your ear exactly, thus providing superior protection.
Watching from Home
Watching the game at home can still put your hearing at risk.
Super bowl parties are notorious for being loud. We recommend putting yourself in charge of the volume of the television. By turning down the volume to a reasonable level, your guests will have to match the tone in order to hear the announcers. This will keep the ambient room noise at a reasonable level.
Going to a bar or restaurant to watch the game gives you less control over the volume. If this is the case, make sure to take a break from the noise by going outside. Periods of low noise can help prevent temporary hearing loss or tinnitus.
Monday Ear Recovery
If you do experience symptoms of temporary hearing loss or tinnitus following the Super Bowl, don’t panic. Your hearing should return to normal soon.
Don’t drink a lot of caffeine on Monday, as research shows too much can make it harder for your ears to recover after a noisy event.
Try distracting yourself from mild tinnitus by listening to soft meditation or yoga music.
If your hearing loss does not improve within a day or so, make an appointment with your San Francisco audiologist. They will conduct a series of hearing exams to determine if you have long-term damage.