Action on Hearing Loss is issuing a warning to Olympic athletes and spectators that they’re at risk of permanently damaging their hearing from the noise in the stadiums.
Olympic officials have admitted that noise levels in the stadia have regularly been over 100 decibels, with the boxing arena hitting 113.7db during a fight involving Irish boxer Katie Taylor.
Exposure to loud noise above 85 decibels over time can cause permanent hearing damage and with the closing ceremony fast approaching, the decibel level is sure to be much higher.
The charity is urging Games revellers to pack earplugs, which can protect your hearing by keeping loud noises out without shutting out other ambient noises.
Action on Hearing Loss audiologist Gemma Twitchen said: “With crowds going wild for Team GB, noise has been recorded at levels in excess of 100db, which is much louder than a jet engine taking off, in fact, it’s 10,000,000,000 times louder than the smallest sound your ears can hear!
“A night in a noisy crowd could cause temporary tinnitus – ringing, whistling, humming or buzzing in your head or ears – or permanent hearing damage. This is not something you’d want to take home as an everlasting memory from the Games.
“You wouldn’t think twice about standing close to a jet engine without hearing protection, so we’re urging people going to the closing ceremony or any of the events in the Olympics and Paralympics to take the very simple step of using earplugs.’
Action on Hearing Loss runs a campaign which encourages people who enjoy music or loud environments to wear hearing protection. Log onto www.loudmusic.org.uk where you can also buy earplugs suitable for the Olympics and music.