Letters to the Editor

Letter of the Week: Record noise at Kansas-West Virginia game is serious

The world record for indoor noise at a sports event of 130.4 decibels, set at the Feb. 13 Kansas-West Virginia basketball game, might have also set a record for the number of people whose hearing was damaged at an indoor sports event. (Jan. 14, 1B, “KU survives in overtime”)

Anyone who had ringing in their ears or sound muffling the next day undoubtedly sustained permanent auditory damage.

Hearing is the social sense, needed for spoken communication. It is precious.

Once our ears are damaged, there is no recovery. And hearing aids, even the best digital ones available, are poor substitutes for preserved natural hearing.

Studies of auditory sensitivity in primitive populations, as well as other lines of evidence, show that hearing loss is not part of normal aging but represents cumulative noise damage.

Noise causes deafness. If it sounds too loud, it is too loud.

The NCAA and the University of Kansas should apologize to fans, athletes, Allen Fieldhouse employees and team staff who were deafened by the roar.

Let’s hope this record stands forever so that Guinness will stop documenting such silliness.

Daniel Fink, M.D., is board chair of the Quiet Coalition, a Lincoln, Mass., organization of professionals concerned about the effects of noise on health, environment, learning, productivity and quality of life in America. He is a longtime fan of Kansas coach Bill Self.

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