Love to go to sporting events and cheer on your favorite teams? While you’re sitting in the bleachers or stands, in a stadium or arena watching that football/hockey/baseball/soccer team win or lose, the CDC wants you to use ear protection – and avoid air horns.

“Sports events like basketball or football games can be exciting, but they're also noisy. And the air horns that blast when your team scores are especially loud -- loud enough to damage your hearing immediately,” says the CDC is a recent environmental health update.

Don’t use horns and don’t sit near anyone using an air horn, in other words.

To protect your hearing at sporting events, use ear protection -- and don't use air horns. Being around too much loud noise can make you lose your hearing. And once it's gone, you can't get it back.

An average air horn emits 129 decibels of noise.  Since any sound that's 85 decibels or higher can cause hearing loss, an air horn can cause immediate harm to your ears.

The louder a sound is, and the longer you listen to it, the more it can damage your hearing. Beyond hearing loss, noise exposure can cause other hearing problems, like tinnitus (a ringing sound in your ears that won't go away).

To protect your hearing, the CDC recommends:

  • Use hearing protection such as earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones.
  • Stay away from loud noises. If you can't get away fast enough, you can also plug your ears with your fingers.
  • Don't use air horns and encourage others not to use them, either.

For more information, go to the CDC's Loud Noise Can Cause Hearing Loss website.