hearing lossHearing health will be the unlikely focus of this weekend’s Seattle Seahawks’ game against the 49ers, played in a stadium rated as one of the top ten loudest stadiums in the U.S.

It’ll be even louder on Sunday, when Seahawks’ fans attempt to break the record in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the loudest cheer.

Former Seahawks owner Joe Tafoya said when the team applied for the chance, "It wasn't necessarily to ask the fans to do anything different,” said former Seahawks owner Joe Tafoya. “We are already one of the single most dynamic and loudest fan bases in the world. We simply wanted to measure the decibels and be known for being louder than anyone else… ever.”  

Hearing protection will be available

The fans will be offered hearing protection in the form of 3m ear plugs donated by the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center (HSDC), which is partnering with the team, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Virginia Bloedel Hearing Research Center at the University of Washington Medical Center and King County Public Health to use the occasion to highlight hearing conservation and hearing loss prevention.

Adding to the theme: Seahawks’ rookie starter Derrick Coleman is legally deaf, and Seattle is home to one of the largest deaf communities in the country.

According to a study by the MAYO Clinic, among the causes of hearing loss are:

  • Occupational noises. Jobs where loud noise is a regular part of the working environment, such as farming, construction or factory work, can lead to damage inside your ear.
  • Recreational noises. Exposure to explosive noises, such as from firearms and fireworks, can cause immediate, permanent hearing loss. Other recreational activities with dangerously high noise levels include snowmobiling, motorcycling or listening to loud music. Personal music players, such as MP3 players, can cause lasting hearing loss if you turn the volume up high enough to mask the sound of other loud noises, such as those from a lawn mower.