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Olympic Rings: Tinnitus at London 2012

If you were lucky enough to see Sir Chris Hoy take gold in the Velodrome or the ‘Mobot’ in action in the stadium, you might be wondering why the buzz hasn’t worn off…


According to LOCOG officials, cheering crowds caused noise levels in the stadia to regularly exceed 100 decibels, which is 512 times louder than breathing and 10 billion times louder than the smallest noise the human ear can pick up.


The Excel arena hit 113.7db during a fight involving Irish boxer Katie Taylor – which is louder than a rock concert at full tilt. The Velodrome topped 124db during the track cycling finals – which is louder than a thunderclap (and 26db shy of the point at which the ear drum ruptures).


Prolonged exposure to noise above 85db can cause temporary tinnitus or even permanent hearing loss.


With the Paralympics approaching and promising to sell out, Action on Hearing Loss is urging athletes and spectators to pack earplugs – which shut out loud noises but allow ambient noise – and not to bring the Olympic Rings home with them.


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