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Academy salutes FIBA ban on vuvuzelas

This summer, FIBA banned the infamous, noise-making vuvuzelas horns that came under criticism at the World Cup in South Africa.

Not only was the sound never-ending, but extremely loud.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the vuvuzelas were measured at a decibel level of 131. That means the horns can cause permanent hearing damage in closed basketball arenas.

The American Academy of Audiology is applauding the FIBA decision to ban the vuvuzelas.

The Academy says that noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) can result from prolonged exposure to loud noises over 85 decibels.

Of the 36 million Americans that have hearing loss, NIHL is the cause of 33% of the cases.

In a statement issued by the Academy to be used by its member audiologists during October, which was National Audiology Awareness Month and National Protect Your Hearing Month, the Academy explained that NIHL is caused by damage to the hair cells that are found in the inner ear.

Hair cells are small sensory cells that convert the sounds we hear (sound energy) into electrical signals that travel to the brain.

Once damaged, those hair cells cannot grow back, causing permanent hearing loss.

Brees raises awareness

The issue of NIHL was highlighted immediately after the New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl win over Indianapolis earlier this year.

The MVP of the game, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, lifted his one-year-old son Baylen up in the air in celebration and the boy was seen wearing a set of noise-reducing earphones.

“Children are exposed to high noise levels more than ever before,” said Kris English, the president of the American Academy of Audiology.

“Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent and 100% preventable.

“Brees’ leadership in hearing protection helped bring that message home.”

The Academy has cautioned spectators to wear hearing protection if it gets too loud.

And you know it’s too loud at a game if you need to shout to be heard by yourself and people around you, if your ears ring during or after the event or you experience a decrease in your hearing, or you have a feeling of fullness in your ears before or after the event.

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