Rock On! Sound Advice to Protect Your Hearing at Noisy Summer Concerts
If you think only young people rock out at concerts, think again. This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival. Many older music lovers will return to the site of the original concert to again enjoy the music of such rock icons as Santana, the Doobie Brothers and John Fogerty.
Dr. Pennell says the average rock concert can reach hearing-damaging noise levels of 100 decibels or higher. “Hearing protection wasn’t a big consideration for concertgoers back in 1969,” says Pennel. “Today, we are more aware of the long-term effects of exposure to noise. Sound over 85 decibels, about the level of a gas-powered lawn mower, can increase your risk of hearing loss. The louder the sound, the shorter the amount of time it takes for damage to your hearing to occur. And noise-induced hearing loss can happen at any age.”
This doesn’t mean that you need to opt out of the summer concert season, one of the most popular times for rock bands to tour the country. Dr. Pennell offers concertgoers of all ages practical advice to protect their hearing health and enjoy the rockin’ sounds of summer:
Wear hearing protection.
Disposable earplugs fit snugly in the ear canal to reduce the volume of noise. They are inexpensive, easy to bring along and a common sight at even the wildest concerts.
Choose outdoor venues when possible.
Noise tends to be less contained at an outdoor venue and you may have more space to stay away from the loudest sounds, such as the blaring speakers. Indoors or outdoors, seating in the middle or back of the audience is best and keeps you away from screaming fans in the front rows.
Give your ears a rest.
This is a must for day-long festivals. Step away for a quiet break between bands. Even a five-minute respite from the noise can be beneficial to your ears.
Schedule a hearing check-up
If you notice signs of hearing damage, such as ear pain or muffled hearing, after a concert you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
“A hearing evaluation is easy and painless and one of the best investments you can make in your long-term hearing health,” says Dr. Pennell. “If a hearing loss is detected, there are many modern, discreet hearing solutions available. The new Oticon Opn S™ hearing aids provide 360° access to sounds. Music lovers will enjoy streaming music to their hearing aids from their smartphones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.”
To learn more about hearing health, hearing solutions and the new Oticon Opn S family of hearing aids, contact Dr. Pennell at (512) 763-8855 or visit www.hcaudiology.com.