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Referees may be at risk for hearing loss


KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) - A lot of people claim referees must be blind, judging from some of the calls they make, but a new study suggests while their eyesight may not be at risk because of their profession, their hearing almost surely is.

Dr. Gregory Flamme, an associate professor of speech and audiology at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo says anything more than a 5-second blast from one of those whistles is more than the ear should have to withstand.

He says using a starter’s pistol is actually louder than firing a real gun, and both can cause hearing problems.

Flamme also says that’s just one profession where excessive noise is an occupational hazard. There are others and they should come with warnings.