There’s no denying that Australians love listening to music, and what better way to experience your most-loved songs and tracks, than in a live venue? In fact, around 57 per cent of Australians attend live concerts every year ! Although the high volumes of the speakers and cheers from the crowds make a live concert an unforgettable experience, are these loud noises affecting our future hearing in a negative way? ‘When we say noise-induced, you say hearing loss!’ There are two main types of hearing loss conductive and sensorineural, with the latter being the most common form, and noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) also falling into this category. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the tiny hair cells in the inner ear become damaged. Over 37 per cent of reported cases of hearing loss are due to overexposure to loud noises2. Once damaged, these tiny and important cochlear hair cells do not regenerate and a cure is yet to be found. Turn down the volume and listen up We all know that sound is measured in decibels and like any other factor which is related to the human body, there are safe limits associated. According to Safework NSW, being exposed to noise levels of 85 decibels (dB) for more than eight hours can lead to permanent hearing loss3. Not only is this statistic alarming in itself, for every 3 dB increase in noise, the recommended exposure time cuts in half! The average rock concert can reach noise levels of 120-129 dB, according to WebMD, which is significantly over the advised guidelines4. However, there are precautions gig-goers can take to protect their ears and hearing.
The tiny device making a big difference Instead of avoiding music concerts or hoping that the sound technician may turn it down, there is one easy way to help prevent damage to your hearing ear plugs. Researchers at a recent outdoor music festival in Amsterdam asked half of the 51 people analysed to wear ear plugs and the other half to not. After the 4.5 hour show, only 8 per cent of the individuals fitted with earplugs experienced a reduced range of hearing abilities compared to 42 per cent of the unprotected group5. Ear plugs have been known to reduce noise levels by 15-30 dB which makes for safer listening all round. It has even been reported that the rock band Pearl Jam gave them out to fans attending a recent concert! If you’re worried about the state of your hearing, call the team at AudioClinic today on 1800 940 984 or click here to book your no cost* hearing check up. 1Artfacts, Music. Accessed August 2017 2Hearnet, The facts on hearing loss. Accessed August 2017 3Safework NSW, Noise. Accessed August 2017 4WebMD, Harmful Noise Levels Topic Overview. Accessed August 2017 5The Jama Network, Effectiveness of Earplugs in Preventing Recreational Noise Induced Hearing Loss. Accessed August 2017.
The average rock concert can reach noise levels of 120-129 dB.