At any average festival, you can suffer permanent hearing damage within just 5 minutes. Have you ever had a buzz or ring in your ears after going to a festival or concert? This is already an indication of hearing damaging. Once you notice you’ve suffered hearing damage, it’s already too late. The damage is irreversible. So if you care about your hearing and about listening to music, you’ll wear earplugs. Still, most people don’t. What are the risks of listening to loud music? And how can you prevent hearing damage as a festival or concert visitor, without having to compromise in terms of music experience? We’ll start at the beginning.
How does hearing damage work?
Deep within the ear lays the cochlea. Within the cochlea, you find small nerve cells with thousands of tiny little cilia attached. As we get older, those cilia get worn out. That is why many elderly people don’t hear well. That is what we call age-related hearing loss. Too loud noises can also cause damage to the cilia. This can happen instantly after hearing an extremely loud noise. The damage can also be caused by overburdening your ears, when you are exposed to noises over 80 decibels too long or too often. The cilia do not recuperate from this damage by themselves. And to this day, there have been no medical means discovered that can repair damaged cilia either.
How loud is the noise at festivals?
The sound volume is mostly about 90 to 100 decibels at outside stages. Inside a festival tent or concert hall, this would be between 95 and 110 (or more) decibels. How damaging are these amounts of decibels? You start to risk suffering hearing damage if you remain in an environment with noises of 80 decibels for longer than 8 hours. With each 3 decibels, the amount of time you can stay in that environment is cut in half. This is because with each 3 decibels, the sound becomes twice as loud. This means you can stay in an environment with 83 decibels for 4 hours without the risk of suffering hearing damage, in 86 decibels just 2 hours, etc. Taking into account the average noise at a festival, this means you risk suffering hearing damage within just 5 minutes!
What are the consequences of hearing damage?
Damaged cilia do no longer pass information through to the brain, deteriorating your hearing. It can also occur that they pass incorrect information, such as a buzz or a ring (tinnitus), you become over-sensitive to certain sounds (hyperacusis), hear sounds distorted (distortia) or hear differently with both ears (diplacusis). A temporary buzz or ring in your ears after visiting a festival or concert already indicates damage to the cilia. The chance of it becoming permanent increases each time you overburden your hearing again.
How do you prevent suffering hearing damage?
Do not stand too close to the speakers. The noise around the speakers can soon go up to over 110 decibels, which means risking permanently damaging your hearing within seconds. Moreover, always wear qualitative earplugs. If you’d prefer the music and conversations to remain well audible, you can choose high-fidelity filter earplugs. And last but not least: take an ear break every now and then. By taking a break, you give the cilia in the cochlea some time to recover from the noise. For example, go get a drink at a bar outside the festival tent every hour, take a quick visit to the toilet or walk around the festival grounds in areas where the music isn’t as loud.
How does the attenuation of sound through earplugs work?
The average noise volume at a concert or festival is around 100 decibels. The Alpine PartyPlug earplugs attenuate 19 decibels, which takes the volume down to a safe level. Using earplugs, you can stay at an average festival or concert all day long (8 hours) without any problems.
Can you still enjoy the music while wearing earplugs?
Isn’t it a waste to wear earplugs while going out? Not with the Alpine PartyPlug. Thanks to its acoustic filters, the noise volume is taken down to a safe level while preserving the music experience. Conversations also remain audible. Would you like to go one step further and have perfect music quality retention? Then you can choose the premium Alpine PartyPlug Pro Natural earplugs with linear filters. These filters attenuate about the same amount of decibels on all tone frequencies, to provide you with an extremely true to life music experience.
Can I wear the earplugs for a longer period of time?
Alpine earplugs are made of a comfortable soft thermoplastic material, which is silicone- free and shapes to the ear canals with your body heat. You can wear the earplugs all day or night long, without any irritation to the ears. They are barely visible and last for a long time.
If I only go to a festival once a year, do I also have to wear earplugs?
Yes, absolutely! Even after listening to loud music just once, you can already permanently damage your hearing. Remember, you have a risk of suffering hearing damage at any average festival or concert after just 5 minutes!
What about children at festivals?
The ears of babies and toddlers are even more vulnerable than those of adults and still in full development for the first few years. German research shows that one in eight children suffers permanent hearing damage! ENT specialists are also worried about the increasing number of very young children with hearing damage that they find in their waiting rooms. That is why it is very important to use hearing protection for children. After all, their ears still need to last a lifetime.
These are the facts
- The music at an average festival or concert can damage your hearing within just 5 minutes!
- Once you notice you’ve suffered hearing damage, it’s too late. Hearing loss or tinnitus is irreversible.
- In Western Europe and The United States alone, there’s a rapidly growing number of 13 million people that suffer from tinnitus.
- Over 1.1 million young people worldwide are at risk of suffering hearing damage.
- The assumption that earplugs take away the music experience is a thing of the past. Nowadays, there are reusable high-fidelity filter earplugs that preserve the music while protecting your hearing.
You only have one pair of ears!
Unfortunately, you only notice hearing damage once it’s already too late. By using hearing protection, you not only prevent suffering hearing damage, but you also reduce the chance of hearing aches or a ring in your ears after going to a concert or festival. Keep enjoying music for many more years to come and use earplugs when you’re at a festival or concert!