It’s festival season! Time to enjoy a summer of live music in the great outdoors. Hearing aid manufacturer, Oticon, provides useful tips on how to protect your hearing now to ensure you can continue to enjoy music for years to come
Copenhagen, Denmark, July 24th, 2019 ‘ Most people do not consider that they need to protect their hearing from permanent damage during the festival season, however, listening to loud music, especially over a prolonged period of time, can lead to irreversible hearing damage such as, tinnitus, hearing loss or hypersensitive hearing. Hearing aid manufacturer, Oticon, has created some top tips on how to protect your hearing this summer as well as advice on when to seek help.
‘Each year, festivals and loud music damage many ears,’ says Samantha Tyndall, Training Manager UK, Oticon. ‘There are likely many people who frequent concerts and festivals who have been affected by a hearing impairment, although some may not recognise their hearing loss until much later. When music reaches a certain level, it can cause damage to the auditory nerve in the inner ear. If this happens often, the body is unable to repair the damage caused by the prolonged exposure to loud noise and it can be very difficult to treat.’
Despite festivals having a maximum volume level, they are often exceeded, especially when you consider the noise created by the crowds in addition to the music. The louder the music, the shorter amount of time it takes before hearing damage occurs. The potential for hearing loss is very individual, so the time a person can be exposed to loud noise before it becomes damaging to their hearing can vary, but in general, sound levels this high can cause a degree of hearing loss in less than 5 minutes*, it may even cause pain and permanent ear injury.
‘Hearing loss caused by noise is the only type of hearing loss we can prevent and we should therefore try to do something about it,’ says Samantha Tyndall, ‘As a general guideline, if you need to raise your voice to be heard at an arm’s length, the noise around you is likely above a safe level for your ears, and if you experience distorted sound or even ringing in the ears you should consider leaving the concert or wearing earplugs to prevent lasting damage.’
Tips by Oticon to protect your hearing while listening to loud music:
‘ Wear earplugs ‘ be sure to fit them well for them to work
‘ Use ear defenders for kids (it can be hard to fit ear plugs properly in small ears)
‘ Keep a distance from loudspeakers
‘ Use an app to measure sound levels
‘After a festival, you may well experience ringing in the ears or that you don’t hear well. This is a natural reaction to too much music and loud noise levels. If you still experience these symptoms one day after the concert, we recommend you contact an ENT doctor or a hearing care specialist to discuss your concerns so they can act accordingly. You can also try Oticon’s free online hearing test if you notice any hearing loss symptoms,’ concludes Samantha Tyndall.