Race cars can affect hearing with loud noise and create hearing loss

One of the most popular attractions in the United States, especially in the Charlotte area, is racing. Fans of fast cars can enjoy drag racing or their favorite driver lapping around the speedway to the roar of the crowd and powerful engines. However, what do those sounds do to your hearing, and what can you do to enjoy the race safely?

What does high volume do to your ears?

To understand how your ears are affected by loud sounds, it’s important to know how your ears are structured. In your cochlea (inner ear), you’re born with thousands of hair cells that are used to detect sound. These cells can become bent with loud noise and ultimately damaged with sudden or prolonged exposure. Your auditory nerve can also be impacted in your inner ear and create muffled or ringing hearing.

How loud does it get at racetracks?

At major amateur and professional races, the noise can get pretty raucous from the fans. With that said, the significant noise factor comes from the cars and engines for hours on end. Spectators in the stands can be dealt with nearly 100 decibels of sound. To put that into perspective, a whisper can be around 30 decibels and a normal conversation at approximately 40-60 decibels.

How can you protect your ears at races?

Even though race fans are facing (and hearing) extreme noise levels, there are certain precautions you can take to prolong your hearing and prevent major damage. Your seats can play a factor, so while the seats close to the action might be tempting it’s demonstrably safer to book your seat higher up in the stands. Proper earwear like earmuffs can, as the name implies, muffle the noise. Earplugs can offer even higher protection due to their place in the ear canal and combining both earplugs and earmuffs is always a plus. After the race, take some time to enjoy some quiet surroundings to give your ears some rest.

Your hearing is vital to staying connected to your favorite activities, especially if you’re a race fan. If you are experiencing muffled hearing, hearing loss, or simply want to get your ears checked, schedule an appointment with a CEENTA audiologist today. Call 704-295-3000 to book your appointment and get your hearing back in the race.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. You can schedule an appointment with any of our audiologists in North and South Carolina through myCEENTAchart or by calling 704-295-3300.


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