We all know frequent exposure to loud noises is detrimental to your hearing and can lead to noise-induced hearing loss. One of the most common causes of this type of hearing loss is loud music, whether that be through your iPod and MP4 player or because you frequently attend concerts. If you’re a regular concertgoer, it’s important to take the appropriate measures to preserve your hearing – and that doesn’t have to mean bypassing live gigs altogether. Here is the best way to protect your ears while at concerts.
How exactly does loud music affect your hearing?
While it’s common knowledge that frequent exposure to loud music affects your hearing, you’ll be forgiven for not knowing the exact science behind it. Our hearing organs are lined with over 20,000 miniscule sensory hair cells that transmit noise signals to the brain. Essentially, they are extremely delicate and sensitive. This means if they are constantly exposed to noises such as loud live music, the hairs will begin to weaken. This damage is irreversible, explaining why hearing loss cannot be cured. Noise-induced hearing loss isn’t instantaneous, but is typically preceded by symptoms such as tinnitus and muffled hearing.
Noises are considered harmful to our hearing if they exceed 85 decibels. To put things into perspective, the average conversation will be around 65 decibels in volume, while most iPods MP4s reach a maximum volume that exceeds 100 decibels. The noise from a concert can on average be between 100 and 120 decibels; once the volume has exceeded 110 decibels, hearing loss can occur after just two minutes of exposure.
Consider wearing earplugs
It may seem counterproductive and downright foolish to wear earplugs at a concert; after all, the whole point of you going is to enjoy the live music. However, noise-induced hearing loss is often detected once the damage is already done, so getting into the habit of wearing earplugs at concerts early will make a world of difference to your hearing.
It’s important you choose the right earplugs to ensure that they will lower the volume rather than affect the crystal-clear quality of sound. Not all earplugs are created equal; the generic foam earplugs that you can pick up from any chemist will successfully lower the volume, but they will also muffle the sound, meaning they’re best left for sleeping. High quality music earplugs will provide a flat attenuation of sound, ensuring that the music quality is preserved and simply at a lower volume. These can be purchased over-the-counter at chemists or made custom by your audiologist.
The Art of Hearing offers a range of custom hearing aids and earplugs
By wearing suitable hearing protection, you’ll be able to enjoy your favourite live music while staying safe. At The Art of Hearing, we’re passionate about helping you preserve your hearing without having to make drastic lifestyle changes. Regardless of the shape and size of your ears, all of our custom-made earplugs are easy to insert and remove and made of durable, long-lasting materials. To find out more about our custom hearing protection, contact us via The Art of Hearing website or call us on (08) 9390 8811.