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Too loud: Preparing your ears for the Comm Games

NoiseNet CEO Stuart Clough was traveling on a train in Brisbane last week when he first heard the announcements in the carriage which advertise the Commonwealth Games, soon to be hosted on the Gold Coast.

It had been a while since Stuart had caught a train, so he was shocked by the sheer volume of the announcements, which seemed to be up to 6 decibels louder than normal.

On the NoiseNet Twitter, he wrote: "Cheap speakers on trains used to yell at commuters are not information. They are #NoisePollution. 87dBa this morning with the @GC2018 announcement. Earplugs recommended @TransLinkSEQ @brisbanecityqld"

Stuart wasn't the only one finding it almost painful to listen to these announcements. Twitter was ablaze with similar comments from commuters, begging the trains to somehow turn down the volume on the announcements.

These comments caught the eye of ABC journalist Patrick Williams. He wrote a full article about the announcements. You can read the full story here, and Stuart Clough's interview with the ABC.

The Commonwealth Games are an exciting time, especially on home soil. With excitement, comes a lot of noise. If you are living near the games, or are attending any events, it's not a bad idea to see how you can protect your ears.

Stadiums, concerts, and crowds mean a constant buzz of sounds in different frequencies. If you are going to be exposed to sound (especially from speakers at high volume) for a prolonged period, perhaps it is worthwhile looking into purchasing some earplugs.

Earplugs won't make the sound disappear altogether, but they will offer some protection to your sensitive ears and help you overcome tinnitus or hearing loss in the longer term.

Another solution is noise canceling headphones. While more expensive, they will offer protection from ambient noise of the crowds, especially if you will be spending lots of time in the stadiums.

One of the loudest events will be the swimming because the aquatic centre is enclosed. Outdoor events will also be loud, but roofless stadiums and sporting fields are less abrasive to the ears.

While prevention is best, it's also good to give your ears a break every so often. This means not listening to loud music in headphones to drown out the noise around you. Sometimes, if things are getting too loud, you should leave the venue for a certain amount of time, giving your senses a break from the atmosphere.

Let us know what events you are attending, and what your experience has been so far with the noise pollution from the games.

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