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Protecting your hearing on race day

By Karissa Manis, Producer, kmanis@wcyb.com
Published On: Mar 13 2013 09:48:59 PM CDT

    Race fans can't wait for the action. It's just a couple of days away.  "I race weekly, so we definitely go to a lot of races," says race fan Randy Potter.

 

     It was quiet Wednesday on the campgrounds. But soon, thousands of fans will fill up the stands. The roar of the crowd, plus the sound from the cars, is very loud. So, audiologist Doctor Michael Valenza in Abingdon is reminding fans to protect their hearing. "Noises can run up near a jet engine. You can get in access of 120 d.b. or more. 15-20 minutes of exposure could cause permanent hearing loss," Dr. Valenza tells us.

Which is something Stacy Cahoon knows about first hand. Not only is he a NASCAR fan, he's also been a race car driver for decades in his hometown in New England.

"I do wear hearing aids, when I was younger the stress on hearing protection wasn't as great and the technology wasn't there. The knowledge of it wasn't there that is today," Cahoon says.

If you prefer ear plugs, or ear muffs, or vice versa, doctors say it doesn't make a difference. They're going to offer the same amount of protection. "You could even use both, you could use plugs and headphones for extra protection. At least you want to get a pair of foam plugs," says Dr. Valenza.

Something Cahoon says, he wishes he would've done sooner. "Had I known better forty years ago, I would've taken a lot better care of my ears."

     Doctors say it doesn't matter where you sit in the stands, everyone should wear something to protect your hearing.     We also found out the cost for a pair of ear muffs or headphones can range anywhere from $8, to more than $30.