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The Hearing-Friendly World Cup Party

It's official, Germany is celebrating their thrilling 1-0 win over Argentina to clinch the World Cup, the first European team ever to win the World Cup in South America. Fans in Berlin and around the Healthy Hearing Tipsworld are celebrating this historic achievement.

It has been an exciting and unbelievable FIFA World Cup in Brazil, with some of the best soccer players in the world putting on an unforgettable show.

Did you see Belgium's nail-biting win over the United States? France's 2-0 victory over Nigeria? Or the Netherlands squeezing past Costa Rica on penalty kicks to get into the final four? Or were you a witness to Brazil's epic 7-1 collapse against Germany? Did your favourite team perform as you hoped?

Just as important as how your team did, is how your ears held up during the global spectacle. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world in bars, clubs, patios and house parties watched this tournament and the odds are many of them did not do it as safely as they could.

Helping people understand hearing loss is one reason why we do what we do at Connect Hearing. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association says the number of Americans with a hearing loss has doubled during the past 30 years.

The Canadian Hearing Society reports hearing loss is the third-most prevalent chronic condition in older adults and the most widespread disability. Its prevalence rises with age – 46% of people aged 45 to 87 have hearing loss. (Cruickshanks et al. 1998)

It's a fact that stadiums and arenas can be extremely loud. The Seattle Seahawks of the NFL recently broke a record for loudest stadium.

An official from Guinness World Records recorded the crowd noise at 137.6 decibels during the Seahawks' victory over the New Orleans Saints last season. How loud is that? 140 decibels is the sound of a shotgun blast.

Crowd noise even became an issue during the World Cup in 2010. Following complaints about noise in the stands as a result of thousands of vuvuzelas (an elongated plastic horn known for making a loud, shrill shrieking noise) during the tournament in South Africa, authorities in Brazil clamped down.
Al Jazeera America reported that FIFA has struggled to control horns, drums, musical instruments, vuvuzelas and other loud noise-makers from the World Cup games.

M.J. DeSousa, Connect Hearing’s Director of Professional Practice, says crowds are noisy and will always be, especially during major sporting events. DeSousa notes that one of the best ways to protect your hearing at major sporting events or concerts is to simply be aware of the risk.

“In my opinion, you should be thinking of ear safety no matter where you are going or what you are doing, especially if you're going to a music festival or concert, or sporting event,” says DeSousa. “It's just obvious that certain activities attract more noise than others. Understand that watching a World Cup game in an enclosed room with a loud television with people blowing horns and banging drums is going to be hard on your ears. So be prepared – find another place to watch the game, or arrive with hearing protection in hand. You don't have to miss a single second of the World Cup, you just have to think ahead and protect yourself.”

If you're hoping to host a hearing-friendly party for a major sports event, here are six great tips to Healthy Hearing at Partyensure that everyone has a safe time:

1. Host your party in a large space and control the number of people you invite.

2. Don't turn the television up too loud. Try to give people options of sitting farther away from the screen if they find it too loud.

3. Invite people, but try to avoid loud instruments and drums into your party.

4. Intoxicated guests tend to make more noise than sober ones. If serving alcohol, watch your guests carefully to make sure everyone is having a good time within noise parameters.

5. Remember children have delicate ears. If hosting children at your party, pay attention to kids sitting too close to the television. Consider having activities for young people that allow them to be part of the fun, without putting their hearing in jeopardy.

6. Lead by example. Most guests will follow the lead of their host or hostess. If you're celebrating each GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAL with a loud, but not deafening cheer, chances are your guests will as well and will avoid getting carried away. 

If you have any questions please give one of our clinics a call and one of our Hearing Health Professionals will be happy to help.

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