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Ways to Protect Your Ears and Your Hearing at Loud Concerts

Ear Protection at Concerts Can Reduce the Risk of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Ways to Protect Your Ears and Your Hearing at Loud Concerts

People of all ages enjoy going to live music concerts; whether the genre is heavy metal, rock, classical, orchestral, or opera, many of these performances usually have one facet in common, i.e. their sound levels can be quite loud, particularly when they are held in an indoor venue and/or for those seated nearest the stage/speakers.

Very often, many concert attendees can experience some degree of difficulty with their hearing and comprehension levels on the day after the event; this is often described as a ringing in their ears (the medical term is tinnitus), believed by concertgoers to only be a temporary situation that will eventually dissipate or disappear within a day or two.

However, a case has been made that a person’s hearing may never actually return to its pre-concert level.  Recent research supports the fact that a single exposure to loud noise may be enough to cause or accelerate irreparable damage to the ears, thus leading to a measure of permanent hearing loss; this is known as noise-induced hearing loss or NIHL.

It is generally accepted that any sounds louder than 85 to 90 decibels can damage one’s hearing; by contrast, while conversations in everyday environments are habitually in the 60-decibels range, sound levels at many concerts can be as loud as 100 to 110 decibels.  This is sufficiently loud to cause a degree of hearing loss (NIHL), a situation that can be further magnified by the length or duration of a concert and by how often people choose to attend such performances.

Now the root of the above discussion is not a message targeted at deterring people from ever going to such events again, but it is an advocacy message for wearing adequate ear protection at concerts.  Consequently, the specialists from the Bravo Hearing Centre, one of the leading hearing clinics in Toronto for the past 30 years, suggest that concertgoers take preventative steps for the protection their ears and their hearing while at concerts:

Different Types of Ear Protection to Wear While at Live Concerts

  • Foam earplugs
  • Electronic earplugs
  • Custom-fitted earplugs
  • Musician earplugs (designed specifically for use at concerts)
  • Sophisticated ear protectors (from hearing aids manufacturers)

There is certainly no shortage of concerts staged in and around Toronto on a year-round basis, and no shortage of people who enjoy attending such events; providing themselves with ear protection when at these concerts will give fans of live music the opportunity to continue appreciating their favourite performers while reducing the risk of hearing loss.

9 Tips for Ear Protection

Here are nine tips to protect your ears at loud concerts:

Use Headphones, Earplugs, Or Earmuffs

In most concerts, sounds average from 100-120 decibels. Any sounds exceeding 85 decibels puts you at risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). It’s crucial to use ear protection like earplugs, earmuffs, or headphones to help lower the decibels.

Stay At a Safe Distance from The Speakers

Although being at the front of the group or next to the speaker can be exciting, it also increases your chance of hearing loss. You are too close if you realize in between performances that your ears are buzzing and hurting. To preserve your hearing, step back to places where sound isn’t too loud.

Take Breaks from The Noise

While you may wish to stay so you don’t miss a moment, you should think about giving your hearing a break after every hour. This could be as easy as moving further from the speakers or stepping outside to get some fresh air for a few minutes. You are less prone to experience NIHL if you take a break from the constant sound.

Choose Outdoor Venues Over Indoor Venues

Due to the music being less intense and contained, outdoor concerts can be softer on the ears. Be cautious, though, as some bands may amp up their sound even more when playing outside by increasing the volume.

Rest Your Ears the Week Before

If you know you’ll be attending a loud event over the weekend, treat your ears gently the week before. Noise exposure harm is slow and cumulative. If you typically listen to music or podcasts through headphones, either lower the volume or think about skipping them before the big event

Give Your Ears Time to Recover After a Concert

Giving your ears a “hearing detox” will aid in their recovery, even if you wore earplugs during the event. To give your hearing time to recover after the concert, you should avoid any loud noises for at least a few days.

Limit Alcohol Use

Alcohol is often inevitable during events but should be moderated. Drinking alcohol boosts blood pressure and increases blood flow to the inner ear, both of which have been associated with tinnitus.

Take Ear Protection Seriously If You Work at A Concert Venue

You face the risk of permanently harming your eardrums or the tiny hairs in your ear if you don’t take precautions to protect your hearing. This can be worse for those that work at a concert venue as they are frequently around the loud sounds coming from the speakers.

Visit A Hearing Specialist If You Notice Signs of Damage

Visit a hearing specialist if you have symptoms like ear pain, ringing, or persistent hearing loss after a concert or festival. They can examine your ears, conduct hearing tests, and accurately diagnose and treat any level of hearing loss.

Consult a Hearing Centre on the Type of Earplugs to Use at Concerts in Toronto

Consult a Hearing Centre on the Type of Earplugs to Use at Concerts in Toronto

Music lovers who want to learn more about various types of earplugs or other protective devices for use at concerts may find it helpful to consult a hearing specialist at the Bravo Hearing Centre, a leading hearing centre in the Greater Toronto Area for over 30 years. 

The Bravo Hearing Centre specialists can help to compare and contrast available options for ear protection at concerts from the perspectives of:

  • Cost
  • Style
  • Comfort
  • Custom Fit
  • Performance (sound reduction)

In addition, for those who are wearing hearing aids and still want to enjoy their favourite bands/performances in live concert settings in Toronto, a Bravo Hearing Centre specialist can offer suggestions on how to turn down the volume on these devices to help prevent further hearing damage.

For more information on the range of hearing devices and accessories for ear protection at concerts, available from the hearing loss specialists at the Bravo Hearing Centre.

If you enjoy live concerts and want to protect yourself from noise-induced hearing loss caused by overly loud music volumes, call the hearing aids specialists at Bravo Hearing Centre in Toronto at 416-207-9711 today or contact us to book a consultation on the available options for ear protection at those concerts.

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