Tuesday 16 January 2018

World Cup noise nuisance is music to the ears of students

Allison Bray

THE controversial vuvuzela craze at the World Cup is music to the ears of a team of student entrepreneurs.

The controversial South African stadium horn used by African fans has annoyed football fans around the globe for drowning out the action.

But it could prove to be a financial boon for the teenage founders of Restored Hearing, who have pioneered an online therapy program to treat people suffering from temporary tinnitus due to excessive noise.

Measuring a whopping 127 decibels, the noise emitted from the stadium horns are in the same range as that of a jet engine revving 30 metres away.

Even short-term exposure -- such as during the course of a 90-minute football match -- could be enough to cause temporary damage to hearing -- including an annoying buzzing or ringing in the ear as a result of tinnitus. But for Eimear O'Carroll (19) and Rhona Togher (19), the iconic 2010 World Cup horn could be their ticket to success.

"Anyone coming back from the World Cup or attending matches would be potential clients for us," Ms O'Carroll said.

Their computer program emits a low humming sound that is used to stimulate the sound receptor cells in a part of the ear known as the cochlea that can become damaged when exposed to loud noise.

Irish Independent

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