March Madness means basketball. But it can also mean a lot of noise as whistles blow, crowds cheer and jeer, feet bang on the bleachers, and air horns blast! If you like basketball up close and personal, then you know how noisy it can be in an enclosed sports arena.

Fans in the stands at a March Madness basketball game

Sports reporters who have measured the sounds at some basketball games have recorded noise levels upwards of 109 decibels. You risk noise-induced hearing loss in just 2 minutes when exposed to sounds at 110 A-weighted decibels (dBA). Since your hearing can be damaged over time from exposure to noise at just 85 dBA or above, wear hearing protection, such as earmuffs or earplugs, any time sounds are at or above that range.

If you’re taking your kids to a game, or if they’re going on their own, make sure everyone takes hearing protection. Enjoy the game AND protect your hearing!

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