Do concerts damage your hearing?
The short answer to the question proposed in the title is: yes. Experts agree that exposure to sounds over 85 decibels for an extended period of time will cause hearing damage, and most concerts range from 98 to 115 decibels. Whenever you feel that annoying ringing sensation in your ears, it is a sign of permanent, irreversible hearing damage. Hearing damage accumulates over time, meaning that each time you expose yourself to these high decibel environments, the damage will pile up and your hearing will get worse, no matter how much time you’ve had between concerts to “recover.” Repeated exposure to these loud environments can lead to debilitating hearing loss, which often requires the individual to purchase hearing aids, which can cost thousands of dollars, as well as tinnitus, a condition in which the sufferer hears an incessant buzzing or ringing in the ears at all times, even when there is no sound present. The solution to this problem? Hearing protection. Disposable foam earplugs have been the standard option for concertgoers that wish to protect their hearing at live music events for decades. However, foam earplugs are designed for places like gun ranges and construction sites – places where protecting hearing health is important, but the clarity of the sound is not. When worn at concerts, foam earplugs block frequencies unevenly, resulting in muffled, unintelligible music.