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Beware of South African vuvuzelas, these can cause permanent hearing damage and thus endanger health!
(06/15/2010) The whole world is currently in World Cup fever. A South African vuvuzelas is popular with many fans. But caution is advised, the vuvuzelas can reach up to 160 decibels and permanently damage human hearing. Adequate hearing protection should therefore be provided.
Vuvuzelas can cause permanent hearing damage, which is now also confirmed by experts in the course in optics and hearing acoustics at the university in Aalen. According to Eckhard Hoffmann Vuvuzelas, hearing can be permanently damaged. Vuvuzela are sometimes louder than chainsaws. The African vuvuzela peak is at 160 decibels. To reach this volume, however, you have to be very skilled with the instrument. The average volume is 120 decibels.
Hearing acoustics professor Eckhard Hoffmann of the Aalen high school points out that at these sound levels the hearing is acutely endangered. "Under certain circumstances, a single fanfare impact is enough to cause hearing damage or ringing in the ears," says Hoffmann. As a possible consequence, those affected may experience tinitus or hearing loss. The tinitus may even persist for life and extremely restrict the patient's quality of life. With tinitus, those affected hear a permanent tone, the volume of which varies from patient to patient.
But what should football fans do to prevent them from hearing damage caused by the blows? Hoffmann advises all football fans to protect their ears with earplugs. Such hearing protection can prevent hearing damage and reduce the vuvuzela volume by 20 to 25 decibels. A sound pressure level of over 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing damage. People who already have hearing loss or tinitus are particularly at risk. Those affected who have already had a hearing loss should definitely wear hearing protection at the major World Cup events. (sb)
Image: Rike / pixelio.de.