Concerts and Hearing Loss

If you have ever been at a concert and found yourself thinking “This music is just too darned loud,” it doesn’t necessarily indicate that you’ve gotten too old for this sort of music. This reaction could be your body’s means of informing you that you are at risk of hearing damage. If after the event your ears are ringing, or you are hearing well well for several days, you have probably experienced noise-induced hearing loss.

This can happen even with short exposures to high decibel noises, and arises because loud sounds can cause physical damage to the tiny hair cells which detect auditory signals in the interior of the ear and send the signals to the brain, where they are interpreted as sounds. Normally, noise related hearing loss brought on by a single exposure to loud noise is short-lived, and should clear within few days. However in the event that you continue to expose yourself to very loud noise, it can cause ringing sound in your ears that does not subside, or a long-term sensori neural loss of hearing.

The amount of damage loud noise does to your hearing is determined by two things – precisely how loud the sound is, and duration of exposure. Noise levels are measured on the decibel scale, which is logarithmic and thus not very intuitive; an increase of ten decibels on the scale means that the noise at the higher rating is two times as loud. Noise induced hearing loss can occur from being exposed to sound at 85 decibels after only 8 hours. Add to this the knowledge that the noise level at some concerts has been measured in excess of 140 decibels, and you’ve got a high risk predicament.

Any of our hearing specialists at IncusEar hearing & E.N.T Centre is very happy to supply you with information about earplugs. Consider getting them next time you’re planning go to a live concert