It’s likely you’ve had a relative chide you for listening to music too loud in the past – saying “you’ll hurt your ears” as a threat. While you may have written them off, there is truth to their concern. Exposure to loud noises, especially those like at a concert, can cause severe damage to your hearing if you don’t take the proper precautions. Here is why you need to wear earplugs to concerts.
Temporary Threshold Shift
When you expose yourself to a high level of noise, you may notice a temporary shift in hearing that results in a short-term hearing loss. A brief case of tinnitus can accompany the hearing loss and, if not too dangerous, both should go away fairly quickly. Earplugs prevent this hearing loss from happening, while still allowing you to enjoy your concert.
Long-Term Hearing Damage
If the damage caused by excessive noise is severe, or if you frequently expose yourself to it, you may be putting yourself at risk of long-term hearing damage that can be permanent. Hearing occurs when small hair cells within the cochlea, or inner ear, send impulses to the brain. When exposed to excessively loud noises, these hair cells can be damaged and lose their ability to function. While this often doesn’t lead to total deafness, it does lead to sounds being muted and muffled. Earplugs are a cost-effective, easy way to eliminate this risk altogether.
Another frequent side effect of excessive noise is the occurrence of tinnitus, which results in an annoying ringing sound that can be permanent. While earplugs cannot fix tinnitus once it has occurred, they can help prevent it. If the noise levels you are in are significant, not even earplugs may be enough to stop tinnitus, but they can help prevent it and lower your chances significantly.
Balance of Sound
One of the biggest myths about earplugs is that they eliminate the ability to listen to music or conversation thoroughly. This, fortunately, is incorrect. Different kinds of earplugs allow for different types of sound to get through. With the right ones, you’ll notice a better sound balance that helps minimize the damaging effects of the noise while you enjoy your concert safely.
Contact Bay Area Audiology Today!
If you are concerned about hearing loss or seeking hearing evaluations, tinnitus evaluations, or hearing aid assistance, our doctors are ready to help. We are passionate about helping all of our patients improve their quality of life through better hearing. We also believe that patient education is critical, so you won’t be lead through endless sales pitches at our office. If you are interested in hearing how we can help you hear even better, contact us at (410) 838-4327 or online. For more hearing tips and articles, follow Bay Area Audiology on Facebook, Twitter,Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.