The National Center for Environmental Health at CDC encourages you to show off your hearing protection devices (such as earplugs, earmuffs) while participating in loud sporting events e.g. football, hockey, car racing and basketball. Snap a photo of yourself, your family, and your friends, and share on social media. Be certain to tag your photo with #SafeHearingSelfie (https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/default.html).

Below are some additional examples:
  • Using power tools
  • Attending a concert
  • Exercise class
  • Watching a car race
  • Going to the movies
  • Entertainment venues
at a car race with noise cancelling headphones

Everyday sounds typically do not damage your hearing. However, many people participate in activities that produce harmful sound levels, such as attending loud sporting events and music concerts and using power tools. Such activities, when repeated over time, will cause hearing loss.

Loud noise can damage sensitive parts of the ear, causing ringing or buzzing in the ear (tinnitus), increased sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis), and hearing loss. Repeated exposure to loud noise over the years affects how well you hear later in life and how quickly you develop hearing problems, even after exposure has stopped.

Avoiding noisy situations is the best prevention. But if you can’t avoid the noise, use adequate hearing protection noise canceling earplugs, earmuffs. You can protect your hearing and still do the things you enjoy.

Recommendations to Help Prevent Hearing Loss from Loud Noise:
  • Turn down the volume of the TV, radio, or music.
  • If listening to loud music, take listening breaks to reduce your exposure.
  • Use quieter products (power tools, toys, recreational vehicles) whenever they are available. (For more, visit CDC’s Buy Quiet webpage: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/buyquiet/default.html)
  • Use hearing protection devices (such as earplugs, earmuffs) when you cannot avoid loud sounds.
  • Make hearing protection convenient. Stash earplugs in your car, backpack, or purse for easy access. Even noise cancelling earmuffs fold for easy storage in a large purse or backpack.
  • Keep children away from loud music or equipment at home.
  •  Move or stay far away from the loudest sound producing source — such as loudspeakers— especially if attending with children.
  • Limit the time of exposure to loud sounds.
  • Pay attention to signs warning of possible loud noise or recommending the use of hearing protection.
  • Bring hearing protection devices with you. Keep them in your car, pockets, or another place that is easy to access.
how loud is a professional sporting event

Use your #SafeHearingSelfie to encourage your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to protect their hearing while enjoying their favorite activities this season at sporting events.

More important, please practice what you post year-round by planning ahead so you are always prepared to protect your hearing while enjoying your favorite activities.
Your ears will thank you for it!

For more information
on how “Loud Noise Can Cause Hearing Loss,”
visit https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/default.htm

Page last reviewed: January 10, 2019