Studies link sports arena noise, whistles to hearing loss

Two papers published in the January edition of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene address noise hazards in sports venues:

“These two papers describe a health hazard – high noise levels causing permanent hearing loss –that is prevalent but pretty much unappreciated in the world of sports,” said journal Editor-in-Chief Mark Nicas, Ph.D. “While severe traumatic injuries and degenerative brain disorders due to concussive blows are recognized as severe hazards among athletes, exposure to high noise likely affects far more individuals (spectators and referees), and the resulting permanent hearing loss decreases the quality of life of those affected. We hope these papers will alert the sports world to explore preventive measures.”