Music is one of the rare things that cut to the heart of humans, latches on and never lets go. People use music to unwind, distress, and enhance the meaning of life.
Music has also been shown to evoke higher emotional states such as love and compassion.
Regardless of the genre of music you enjoy, remember to always protect your hearing at a loud concert.
How can concerts hurt your ears?
Hours spend alongside heavy drums, loudspeakers, and screaming crowds are bound to take a toll on your hearing. Long term exposure of ears to loud noise puts you at the risk of suffering from noise-induced hearing loss.
Many people suffering from the condition are unable to hear certain pitches. They also struggle to hear below a certain volume.
The constant noise from the drums and speakers damages the cochlea.
This is the part that is responsible for processing pitch and volume. When the cochlea fails to function, you can’t hear.
Noise-induced hearing loss is irreversible and can happen to anyone. The only way of being on the safe side is by protecting yourself from the noise.
What is the best way to protect your hearing at a concert?
There are plenty of tips you can put into place for you to enjoy your concert without hurting your hearing. These tips include:
Be cautious of where you sit
When you get to the venue, don’t sit anywhere. Many people position themselves at the front row seats.
While these seats will give you a better view of the celebrity musician, they are close to an array of loudspeakers that put your hearing in danger.
To be safe, sit at a reasonable distance from the stage and the speakers
Stock up on earplugs
Earplugs are highly effective at blocking noise. They are also cheap; therefore, you don’t have to worry that they will be out of your budget.
For you to get the most of the pieces, opt for musician-grade earplugs. They lessen sound intensity while maintaining quality.
Most of the earplugs are made from foam or silicone. To wear them you simply need to compress them then put them into your ears. The pieces will expand filling your ear canal preventing noise from getting in.
Many people make the mistake of using tissues or wadded cotton balls instead of earplugs. Don’t do this.
In addition to these materials failing to block noise, they also can lead to physical damage to the ears especially when you shove the tissue or cotton too deep into the ears.
You can buy earplugs online or from your local grocery store, drugstore, or larger stores.
Do you frequent concerts and would love a pair of earplugs that provide you with optimum noise protection? Go with custom earplugs. These are made to fit the dimensions of your ears and are often made from higher quality materials.
While they are a little bit expensive, they mute a higher number of decibels, and at the same time, they are able to effectively filter music so that you can still hear your favorite musician.
You want to listen to your idol singing as long as possible, but you might be putting your ears at risk. Whether you are wearing hearing protection or not, step outside for a few minutes to allow your ears to recover.
Obviously, you shouldn’t step outside when the concert is at the peak. Do it during a lull in the music.
Opt for outdoor concerts
Outdoor concerts are gentler to the ears as the sound isn’t constrained in one area as it’s the case with indoor events. Even when you attend these concerts, avoid staying close to the speakers. This is because some bands amplify their music.
Limit the number of concerts you attend
Even if you are wearing custom hearing protectors, you shouldn’t attend every party in town—work at decreasing the concerts. This way you will decrease the hours you are exposed to the loudspeakers.
When attending the few concerts, watch the amount of alcohol you consume. Alcohol is known to impair judgment; therefore, when you drink during events, you fail to take the necessary ear protective measures.
For example, you are more likely to sit near the speakers. Sometimes you may even fail to wear earplugs.
How loud is too loud?
Most people will tell you that you should avoid loud concerts but how loud is loud? Here is a quick guide that will help you estimate the decibel volume:
- 70 dB or lower: You can hold and understand conversations at your normal volume
- 85 dB: This is a little loud. Don’t stay in situations like this for more than 8 hours
- 90 dB: Limit your exposure time to two hours
- 100 dB: At this volume, you have to shout for you to hear what the other person is saying. Don’t stay for more than half an hour.
- 100 dB: You can’t hear other people even when you shout. When you step into situations that have these decibel volumes, always have hearing protection devices in place.
Recovering from the concert
If you have been exposed to the noise for hours, you should give your ears time to recover. This not only gives you peace of mind, it also reduces your chances of developing noise-induced hearing loss.
There are a number of tips you can use to ensure that you fully recover:
Get rid of blockages
It’s common for earwax to fall out of the ear canal. If you are experiencing muffled sounds, chances are that you have impacted ear wax that is blocking the canal.
Visit a professional who will carefully remove the wax without affecting the delicate hairs of the inner ear.
Play white noise or relaxing sounds
White noise cancels out the sharp high and lows that are common with loud music. The noise works by reducing the difference between background sounds and “peak” noises.
As a consequence, you have a peaceful moment that leaves the ears relaxed.
Limit alcohol consumption
It’s common to have increased pressure in the ear canal when you are exposed to loud noises for a long time. Alcohol is known to increase blood pressure that increases blood flow to the ears, top of the eyes, and base of the neck.
When you drink alcohol, you increase pressure in the ear canal, leading to increased ear ringing. For your ears to recover effectively, don’t take alcohol.
Go on a hearing detox
This is where you avoid any loud noises so that you can give your ears enough time to recover from the concert. When you are detoxing, avoid listening to loud music.
You also should avoid loud construction sites, watching movies in the theater, and heavy traffic.
Taking care of your ear health
In addition to ensuring that you are safe during concerts, you also should regularly visit an audiologist for regular ear checks.
In between the examinations, if you have signs such as muffled hearing, ringing in the ears, or pain, get in touch with a professional who will undertake some tests and recommend the next course of action.
Regardless of your favorite music genre, ensure that you always protect your hearing when attending live concerts. You don’t want to miss hearing the next big single by your favorite band, do you?