With summertime comes fun in the sun and outdoors at concerts and picnics. It’s the time for beach visits and laying out by the pool, park outings, and outdoor concerts when the day cools into evening. Festivals and concerts are a great change meet new friends, hear great music and hang out outside.
One thing that all concerts are is loud, however: often the noise levels are in more than 100 decibels! We know that hearing loss can happen at noise levels that are higher than 80 dB, it’s vital that we take precautions to guard our hearing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy summer festivities!
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and Youth
An estimated 1.1 billion youth world-wide have been affected by noise-induced hearing damage. Energetic and adventurous, young people often gather in loud environments such as night clubs, sporting events and concerts, which often have very loud music or noise from crowds.
Even a short period of exposure to loud music can cause hearing damage, so it is important to find ways to protect your ears before going to these venues.
In one Amsterdam study in 2015, the effects on hearing of wearing earplugs or not wearing them was measured for outdoor concert-goers. 25 people wore earplugs to the concert and 26 people went without them. Of those, In the 4.5-hours concert, temporary hearing loss was measured in 22 of the 26 unprotected participants.
In contrast, only 4 people of the 25 wearing earplugs showed any hearing damage at all. Since repeated occurrences of temporary hearing loss can lead to permanent hearing loss, preventing even temporary hearing damage is crucial to long-term hearing health.
What Should I Do?
When worn during exposure to loud noises, earplugs can help to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. So next time you attend a sporting event, concert, or night club consider grabbing a pair of earplugs first.
Though this type of hearing loss is often temporary, remember that repeated exposure can have long-term effects and eventually become permanent damage. Sounds being muffled or difficulty hearing quiet sounds are some symptoms of hearing loss. If you experience any of these symptoms, please see your audiologist for a hearing screening to check on the level of damage and if anything can be done to prevent further hearing loss.
Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.