NASCAR Is Dangerous For Your Hearing

by | Dec 10, 2013 | news

NASCAR Is Dangerous For Your Hearing

NASCAR (the National Association For Stock Car Auto Racing) is second only to the NFL for television ratings among professional sport franchises. It is broadcast in 150 countries, and has a huge following around the world. Millions of people attend NASCAR races live each year. And when it comes to NASCAR, both the participants and the spectators are at risk for hearing loss from the sport.

Hearing Loss Is Likely At A NASCAR Race

Research into NASCAR races shows that the noise level at these events is 900 times higher than the allowable daily noise for any occupation. At these noise levels, hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is not just possible, but probable.

Everyone Is At Risk For Hearing Loss

And it’s not just the NASCAR drivers who are at risk for hearing impairment. The pit crew and the fans are also exposed to extremely high levels of noise, and their hearing can also be compromised.

The Noise From All Those Cars Adds Up!

For an average 8-hour workday, the legal noise level is 85 decibels, but at a NASCAR race, the average noise level can reach 140 decibels – and that’s for just one car! Now imagine a full field of 43 cars going around the track at around 140 decibels each. That’s loud!

NASCAR Employees Must Protect Their Hearing

A study found that drivers, mechanics and the pit crew are exposed to 12-21 hours of excessive noise each week, for around 40 weeks in a row. It is extremely important that NASCAR employees protect their hearing while they’re working to minimize any potential damage that could occur.

NASCAR Spectators Are At Risk For Hearing Loss

While the drivers wear custom-molded earplugs, spectators often don’t. And this puts spectators at huge risk when watching NASCAR races live. Spectators are often exposed to loud and consistent noise during the race from dozens of cars racing at once. The hearing damage is cumulative and irreversible, and both crew and spectators need to take appropriate steps to protect their hearing during races.

Get Your Hearing Tested

If you or someone you love has been exposed to loud, consistent sounds like those at NASCAR races, it is important that you get your hearing tested by a trained audiologist to determine if there has been any damage to your hearing, and to talk about appropriate ear protection during these types of events.

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Dr. Ana Anzola, CCC-A, FAAA, ABA Principal

Dr. Anzola received her Doctorate degree in Audiology (AuD) from the Arizona School of Health Sciences, and her Master’s Degree in Audiology and her Bachelor's Degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from Towson University. She has been a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) since 1995, board-certified by the American Board of Audiology (ABA), and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

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