In most cases, people wear earplugs to block out noise. At a concert, we want to be able to hear the music. It’s the whole point of attending a concert after all. But what if some of that music is damaging your ears?
Studies show that people that regularly attend live music performances are more likely to suffer from hearing problems as they get older. Most of us don’t care about this when we’re young, but it’s a reckless decision that many concert veterans live to regret as they reach their forties and fifties and start to experience tinnitus or hearing loss.
Just how loud is the average concert?
Concerts are incredibly loud. In fact, the average concert today tends to be between 110 and 120 decibels.
Hearing loss can start to occur when exposed to long or repeated sounds over 85 decibels (just above the sound of a busy playground). Usually, several hours of exposure at this volume are necessary for damage to take effect. At 110 decibels, damage can occur after only two minutes of exposure. Most concerts last several hours, while festivals can last an entire weekend – so this just gives you an idea of how much damage you could be doing.
Generally speaking, any time you hear ringing in your ears from loud noise, you’ve already started to cause damage. Pain from noise exposure is a particularly bad sign.
The dangers of noise exposure
Noise exposure can cause hearing loss. This itself can lead to other health problems such as stomach problems, cognitive health issues, vertigo and mental health problems. You can learn more about these side effects online. Such hearing loss can be corrected with a hearing aid, but may not be possible to reverse.
Tinnitus (a constant ringing in the ears) is another effect of noise exposure. This can lead to insomnia and depression. Similarly, a hearing aid may be the only solution – there is no cure for tinnitus.
Finding the right solution
All of this isn’t a reason to stop attending concerts. By using ear protection, you can prevent the damage caused by loud noise at these events.
Some concert venues have started supplying earplugs, but these tend to be cheap earplugs that could muffle and negatively distort the sound quality. For this reason, it’s best to invest in a high quality pair of earplugs.
There are a few specialist ear plugs on the market designed for live music events. These ear plugs are able to lower the volume without negatively impacting the sound quality. This could allow you to enjoy the music in full definition without sacrificing your hearing in the process.
Earplugs still may not be seen as ‘cool’ by some people, but they’re becoming more popular at concerts. There are also a number of earplugs on the market that are designed to look a little more trendy. If it’s the image problem you’re worried about, these designs could be worth looking into.