Harpenden hearing expert has his say on the Vuvuzela

A HARPENDEN hearing expert has been helping the world’s media by answering questions about the Vuvuzela – the South African trumpet that’s providing the monotonous sonic backdrop to this year’s World Cup.

After global charity, Hear the World, announced that exposure to the Vuvuzela could cause permanent hearing damage, Robert Beiny (pictured), European Audiologist of the Year and founder of the Hearing Healthcare Practice in Harpenden, was asked to provide his own expert opinion.

The Vuvuzela, a trumpet-shaped plastic horn, is a common sight at South African sporting occasions but it has been found to emit ear-piercing noise measured at 127 decibels – louder than a lawnmower (90 decibels) and a chainsaw (100db).

Robert Beiny said: “To put it in perspective, when a sound is increased by 10 decibels our ears perceive it as being twice as loud so 91 db is considered safe for perhaps a few hours, while anything over 120 db can see permanent damage set in after just a few seconds of exposure.

“No one wants to spoil the fun, but many people attending the matches in South Africa will be unaware of the risks they are taking with their hearing. I just believe it is common sense that fans should be made aware of the dangers.”

Robert’s comments have featured in print across the world and he’s appeared on radio shows from the UK to Europe, Australia and the USA.