A stadium horn, vuvuzela is a blowing horn up to about 65 cm (2 ft) in length. In South Africa, it is commonly blown by fans at football matches. With the use of a simple brass instrument technique of blowing, the instrument is played through compressed lips to create a buzz, and emits a loud monotone. In Brazil and other Latin American countries, football fans use a similar instrument. Vuvuzelas have been controversial due to they have been linked with permanent noise and the cause of hearing loss. When vuvuzela is used, audience cannot hear evacuation announcements so it is cited as a possible safety risk. For drowning the sound and atmosphere of football games, Vuvuzelas have also been blamed. The sound of vuvuzelas have been described as “annoying” and “satanic” and compared with “a stampede of noisy elephants”, an elephant passing wind, “a deafening swarm of locusts”, “a goat on the way to slaughter”, and “a giant hive full of very angry bees” by commentators. Vuvuzela is very dangerous due to its sound level is 127 decibels and this high sound pressure levels is harmful for unprotected ears. According to the HEAR, “The World Foundation extended exposure to the vuvuzela can lead to permanent hearing loss.”
During the ongoing world cup matches, ever popular “vuvuzela” trumpet has been a dominant feature at the stadium but before and during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, vuvuzela has produced much controversy. In the western part of Pretoria, GNA Sports deemed it important to conduct a survey on the issue. The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the 2010 World Cup is pondering over whether to ban the use of the controversial trumpet within the stadium or not with only a few days into the tournament. On Sunday evening, vuvuzela has become the single item for discussion in the media and LOC made that controversial statement. The vuvuzela has easily become part and parcel of the beautiful game in South Africa since the 1990. The vuvuzela has become a feature at every South Africa game and has widely spread across the continent since its introduction in 1990.
The vuvuzela may cause temporary noise-induced hearing loss, if blown in close proximity to the ear. This should return in a few days to weeks depending on the sound volume and period of exposure. Permanent hearing problems will be the result of repetition of exposure. Since the 2009 Confederations Cup, the call for its ban has only been in existence with its ability to drown television telecasting as the main argument against it. Players and officials have also complained about its effects on communication on the pitch, not just among them, but with officials, coaches and referees. Likes of Christiano Ronaldo, Patrice Evra, Lionel Messi, among a tall list, expressed their unhappiness at the instrument but according to thought of English defender Jamie Charagher, “it does not affect him either, and has even bought two for his children.” The vuvuzela remains the most popular cheer instrument and has become a symbol of the sport in current times with multitudes of football fans developing a deep rooted emotional attachment to the instrument.
Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia said, “the droning noise made by vuvuzelas is proving to be an irritation for the teams in the ongoing World Cup football and the musical instrument should be banned.” He added, “It is causing too much of an irritation. It has to be banned immediately. This kind of noise does not help football.” Players such as Spain’s Xabi Alonso stated, “The horns make it hard for players to communicate and concentrate, while adding nothing to the atmosphere.” France’s Patrice Evra stated, “We can’t sleep at night because of the vuvuzelas; people start playing them from six am. We can’t hear one another out on the pitch because of them.” According to the FIFA president, “banning the vuvuzela will be an attempt to Europeanise an African world cup.” For him, it is indeed an African World Cup, and must be used as the platform to demonstrate the culture of the continent, of which Vuvuzela is part.
Some of the signs and symptoms of hearing damage include :
- Ringing or buzzing in the ears, also referred to as tinnitus.
- Difficulty in hearing sounds or voices in situations where this was previously not a problem.
- Sounds appear to be muffled, like you have cotton wool in your ears.
An audiologist will be able to assess the degree of hearing loss which could be :
- profound (91dB or more).
- severe (71 to 90dB).
- moderate (41 to 70dB).
- mild (25 to 40dB).
Video about how to blow the Vuvuzela from youtube:
Video about Hitler and the Vuvuzela at the 2010 FIFA World from youtube:
Video about Vuvuzela FIFA World cup 2010- Obama Speaks out from youtube:
Video about BAN Vuvuzelas from the 2010 FIFA World Cup from youtube: