GLENDALE, AZ—Ever since fall 2013 when Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs fans began competing for the title of the National Football League’s noisiest rooters (Chiefs’ supporters set the record when they created a din reaching 142.2 dB in their home field), the hearing care community has seized upon the Super Bowl as a golden opportunity to increase public awareness of the risks of excessive noise exposure and how to avoid them.
This year, leading up to Super Bowl XLIX being held here this Sunday, February 1, Oticon, Inc., has kicked off a football-oriented campaign to make people pay more attention to their hearing health.
The campaign features colorful graphics that combine entertaining information about sports and noise with serious advice about hearing protection and hearing care. For example, one graphic shows how noisy football stadiums can get and how the noise affects the game.
Oticon, Inc., the U.S. division of a Danish parent company, is partnering with hearing care professionals around the country to reach consumers.
During the NFL playoffs in December and January, Annette Mazevski, AuD, was part of a group of Oticon audiologists who visited cities with playoff teams. They measured the noise levels at popular sports bars where fans without tickets for the game congregate to cheer their favorite teams on TV.
Mazevski reported that the overall bar noise averaged in the 80-dB range. However, during high points, such as when the home team scored a touchdown, fan noise in the bar reached 110 dB. And a really exciting play could generate cheers of up to 114.9 dB, of noise.
Sheena Oliver, vice-president of marketing for New Jersey-based Oticon, Inc., said, “Super Bowl excitement gives us an opportunity to remind people that good hearing is something to cheer about.” She added, “Our Big Game Noise infographic focuses not only on good sense hearing practices but also on the many ways good hearing enriches our lives.”
STARKEY PLANS PRE-SUPER BOWL MISSION
Meanwhile, Meanwhile, the Starkey Hearing Foundation will be coming to Phoenix Municipal Stadium on January 31 for its annual pre-Super Bowl Mission. More than 75 pre-screened Phoenix-area patients, ages 9 to 83, will receive free customized hearing devices, audio testing, counseling, and instruction on how to care for their new hearing aids.
A host of celebrities, including the country singer Garth Brooks, actress Marlee Matlin, rock musician Pete Wentz, NFL stars Larry Fitzgerald and Greg Jennings, and Daymond John, a fashion designer and founder of the FUBU clothing brand, will be among the celebrity volunteers on hand to help fit patients with their new hearing aids.
Also participating in the mission, which is sponsored by the Wilf Family Foundation, will be hearing professionals from practices in the area.
Founded by Bill Austin, owner of Starkey Hearing Technologies, the Starkey Foundation has provided hearing aids to people in need around the world for more than three decades. Last year, it donated more than 175,000 hearings aids; its goal is to reach 1 million by 2020.