Protect your ears at this summer’s most popular music festivals.
From pop and rock at Lollapalooza to jazz, country, and blues at Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival, ‘tis the season for concerts and music festivals. No matter the genre, attending these live events is a fun experience that many enjoy. In fact, an estimated 32 million people go to at least one music festival in the US every year. If you’re one of them, remember to protect your hearing while enjoying your favorite bands.
To start, check out these concert ear protection tips:
- Use headphones, earplugs, or earmuffs
- Take breaks from the noise
- Stay at a safe distance from the speakers
- Choose outdoor venues over indoor
- Rest your ears during the week before
- Limit alcohol use
- Visit a hearing professional if you notice signs of damage
Keep reading for more details on each of these concert hearing protection tips.
Use headphones, earplugs, or earmuffs
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) can occur at a volume of 85 decibels (dB), and the risks increase the louder it gets. With concerts averaging between 100 and 120dB, using concert ear protection like earplugs, earmuffs, or headphones to reduce that volume is essential. If you’re going with friends, think about picking up some spare earplugs to share. You can choose inexpensive foam ones or invest in high-fidelity music earplugs to preserve music quality.
Check out these gadgets that can preserve your hearing here.
Take breaks from the noise
By all means, rock out to your favorite bands – but during or after their performance, consider resting your ears. When you take a break from continuous sound, you’re less likely to experience NIHL. A rule of thumb for this hearing protection tip is to try to aim for no more than an hour at a time. After that, it might be a good idea to take a break by wandering off for a bathroom or snack break.
Stay at a safe distance from the speakers
Being at the front of the crowd or directly in front of a speaker can give you a rush, but you could be raising your risk of hearing damage. If you notice between sets that your ears are ringing, painful, or you’ve lost some of your hearing, that’s a sign you’re too close. Move back to help protect your hearing.
Choose outdoor venues over indoor
Outdoor concerts can be gentler on the ears because the sound isn’t as pronounced and contained as an indoor venue. But beware – some bands may amplify their music even more by turning the volume up louder when they perform outside, so stay safe and follow the concert ear protection tips outlined in this article.
Rest your ears during the week before
Damage from noise exposure is gradual and cumulative, so if you know you’ll be attending a loud event over the weekend, be gentle to your ears during the week before. If you usually listen to music or podcasts through earbuds, for instance, be sure to turn the volume down or consider skipping it in preparation for the big event.
Limit alcohol use
Festivals and alcohol often go hand-in-hand. If you choose to partake, moderate your alcohol intake. Why is this included in our list of hearing protection tips? Because alcohol increases the blood flow to your inner ear and raises your blood pressure, effects that are both linked to tinnitus, or a ringing in the ears.
Check out these myths you should know about tinnitus here.
Visit a hearing professional if you notice signs of damage
If you’re experiencing symptoms like ear pain or sustained muffled hearing after a music concert or festival, visit an audiologist. They will perform an exam and accurately measure for any level of hearing loss, so they can suggest treatment options for your symptoms.
Learn how to choose the right audiologist for you here.
No matter which summer music festivals strike your fancy, these concert ear protection tips can help you stay safe while you watch your favorite artists out on the stage. For more hearing loss-related articles, visit our growing library of articles on our blog today.
Check out our infographic featuring the anatomy of the ear and how damage to any of its parts can cause hearing loss.