Lifewatch: Hearing loss on the field

Reported by Claire Hosmann - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - Approximately 10% of American may have suffered permanent damage to their hearing from excessive noise exposure.

That exposure occurs in the workplace, in recreational settings, and even on the football field.

High school marching bands generally perform at half time during high school football games.

Band director David Fairchild worries about the noise damaging the young musicians' ears.

"It's almost as if something tangible has hit you in the face. It's about as loud as a train," said Fairchild.

He said that's especially true for those on the drum line.

Audiologists say that over time loud music and noises can damage hearing.

"If it is really loud, it can cause trauma to the ear and the hair cells of the actual inner ear are what's damaged. And once they're damaged, they cannot be repaired," said Audiologist Laura Castel.

Now, some drummers are taking precautions and wearing special ear plugs to help deaden the sound.

A good rule of thumb to help protect your hearing is to avoid noises that are too loud, too close, or that last too long.

If you suspect you may be losing hearing, make sure to get it checked out by a doctor who specializes in the field.