Having been born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, the past 28 years of my life have been filled with the many sights and the sounds of Africa…none more so than the vuvuzela.
For many, this musical instrument is associated with football (soccer) and with the FIFA World Cup currently taking place in South Africa; the world has become all too familiar with the vuvuzela…many love it, but there are also some who detest it.
Personally, I think it’s a great way to resonate the sound of South Africa across the world, especially during the biggest event on the planet. However, if roughly 60 000 fanatical football fans each blew his/her vuvuzela inside a stadium for around 90 minutes, the risk of severe hearing loss and damage to the ear is a serious reality check.
Being a football fanatic, I can understand the excitement generated by the World Cup…considering it only comes around every four years. Fans are currently celebrating the tournament in many ways; however, blowing a vuvuzela is seemingly the most popular way of creating a ‘buzz’…regardless of the potential health concerns that could result from it.
So what is a vuvuzela? Well, the name is said to have originated from the isiZulu language and means ‘make noise’…the Tswana word for vuvuzela is ‘lepatata’. Basically, a vuvuzela is a long plastic trumpet-like horn that amplifies the sound made when you squeeze the air in your mouth through your lips, instead of actually using your diaphragm and lungs to blow through the instrument.
The resulting sound is deafening. In fact, between 120 and 130+ decibels…louder than a chainsaw and just a few decibels less than a jet engine at 30 metres! Prolonged exposure to this without ear plugs or proper ear protection could seriously damage your inner ears and lead to some degree of permanent hearing loss.
Wherever you are in the world, whoever your team is for the World Cup, and however you choose to celebrate, please do so with common sense. If you have a vuvuzela, by all means give it a few blasts and enjoy yourself…just be sure to wear ear protection and that those around you (especially babies and small children) also have their ears covered up.
Despite all the precautions you can take to prevent hearing loss, there is still no guarantee that you’ll be affected by a condition called presbycusis…also known as age-related hearing loss, which affects more than 36 million people in the US alone.
However, this study suggests that regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from fish may prevent or delay the development of age-related hearing loss. Other ear conditions such as tinnitus (ringing in the eyes) may be reduced by supplementing with Omega 3 / DHA fish oils that have added ingredients such as lycopene, astaxanthin, and Ubiquinol. Our Omega 3 / QH Ultra contains all of these ingredients and more information about the effects of Ubiquinol and its role in reducing tinnitus can be found in the more info tab.