Noise induced hearing loss is the most common cause of hearing loss and the ONLY preventable type of hearing loss. Noise induced hearing loss can occur from a variety of environments like factory work, construction work, yard work, firearm use, and even concerts. Some types of noise induced hearing loss only cause a temporary hearing loss and others cause a permanent hearing loss. The most common sign that you have been exposed to loud sounds for too long is tinnitus. Tinnitus is any sound that is generated at the level of our ears or brain and has no external sound source. If you hear tinnitus (most typically described as a high-pitched ring) after exposure to loud sounds, it is your body telling you that some type of damage has been done.
The only way to prevent noise induced hearing loss is to protect our ears from loud sounds by using hearing protection.Hearing protection comes in may forms including custom hearing protection, foam plugs, and ear muffs. In general, all types of hearing protection are created equally as long as they are placed properly in your ears. Many work environments require hearing protection to meet OSHA standards and regulations. And many people will use hearing protection when doing yard work (lawn mower, etc) because they know these sounds are loud and harmful. But many people completely forget about their ears when it comes to concerts.
Custom or Over the Counter
Concerts are fun but dangerously loud. Research has shown that most concerts, regardless of the type of music being played, can cause noise induced hearing loss. Although usually temporary in nature, they are still causing damage and that damage can build up over time and eventually cause a permanent noise induced hearing loss. There are hearing protection devices that can be purchased that are specific to concerts so you can still enjoy the music while also protecting your ears. Custom hearing protection usually costs about 200 dollars for the pair and can be made by your local audiologist. Custom plugs are a great way to ensure that the integrity of the sound quality is maintained but you are also protecting your ears from dangerously loud sounds. Vibes are a great non-custom way to protect your hearing while enjoying concerts. They come in standard sizes and filter out the dangerously loud sounds while keeping the integrity of the music in tact.
Location is Key!
You can also keep your ears safe at concerts by not standing directly in front of the speakers. The further away from the sound source you are, the happier your ears will be! Make sure to take breaks from the music as well. We know that noise induced hearing loss is often cumulative. If you give your self a few breaks throughout the concert for even just a few minutes, you will help decrease your chance of noise induced hearing loss. This also includes limiting your exposure to loud noises a few days before the concert as well.
The Hearing Clinic at the National Dizzy and Balance Center provides complete hearing care needs. Our Doctors of Audiology perform a FREE hearing aid evaluation where they
- Assess your lifestyle. Finding what hearing aids will fit you best.
- Trial hearing aids that are programmed to your hearing needs
- Further diagnostic testing to ensure proper programming of your hearing aids.
- Answer any other questions you may have.
To schedule an appointment, call 952-345-3000 today!