Grand Prix alert

Grand Prix alert

23 Mar 2011

This weekend the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix is being held at Albert Park. Four days of checker flags and automotive big names will rev up Melbourne, but if you’re attending the event ear protection is highly recommended says La Trobe University Audiologist, Dr Chyrisse Heine.

Grand Prix‘85 decibels is the cut off for noise levels which is the same sound level as standing on the corner of Collins Street next to traffic. Cars at the Grand Prix exude 130 decibels of noise, 15 minutes exposure to that level of noise might be enough to affect your ears and the more exposure you get to high levels of noise, the more susceptible you are to permanently affecting your hearing,’ Says Dr Heine.

The dullness of sound and ringing sensation often felt after a loud concert or sitting beside a kitted out Ferrari as it takes off in gear is an indication of temporary hearing loss. Eventually the ringing will probably subside, however an accumulation of noises that produce the temporary reaction can cause permanent irreversible damage.

‘I highly recommend ear plugs or ear muffs to events like the Grand Prix. They will cut off the noise levels produced by the cars and other entertainment, but they filter through tones that are consistent with the voice, so you can still hear people talking while protecting your hearing,’ says Dr Heine.

Dr Heine also suggests some tips for protecting one of our important senses:


Visit your audiologist
– If you have persistent ringing or a dull sound that you have not experienced before, which may be from attending a loud event, I urge you to visit your general practitioner or consult an audiologist who can test if there is damage to your hearing.

Sound rule of thumb – When it comes to iPods or other devices that require earphones or headphones, the rule of thumb is: If the person next to you can hear it, it’s too loud! Be aware of volume levels and how others react to sound around you. It can be the best indication of whether your sensitivity to sound has been compromised over too much exposure to loud noises.

Protect yourself
– Every local chemist will have a pair of bright yellow ear plugs that are essential for concerts, mowing the lawn and other loud events. Be practical, you wear sunglasses when the sun is too bright to protect your eyes, don’t forget about the other senses, too much accumulation of loud noises will result in hearing loss.

Contact details for Audiologist, Dr Chyrisse Heine, School of Communication Sciences:


T: 03 9479 1822
M: 0425 735 813
E: c.heine@latrobe.edu.au 

For more information please contact:

Meghan Lodwick


Communications Officer
T: (03) 9479 5353
M: 0418 495 941
E: m.lodwick@latrobe.edu.au

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