Summer is a time of sun, fun and outdoor festivities like concerts and festivals. Once you get to a concert, however, you may remember how loud those concert speakers can be: in excess of 100 decibels! Noise that loud risks hearing loss in any environment, so how can you protect yourself?
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and Young People
With 1.1 billion young adults and teens estimated to have noise-induced hearing loss, this is a huge problem that needs to be addressed. Venues that young people attend, such as concerts, night clubs and sporting events are contributing to these staggering numbers, and studies show that just a few hours of exposure to loud music can damage hearing.
One 2015 study in Amsterdam attempted to measure the effects of outdoor concert-goers wearing earplugs or not. In a group of 50 young people, 25 people wore earplugs and 26 did not. After a concert lasting 4.5 hours, the two groups underwent hearing testing to determine the level of damage, if any.
The findings were overwhelming: Out of the 26 people not wearing earplugs, 22 showed temporary hearing loss as opposed to 4 of the 25 wearing earplugs. Since repeated temporary hearing loss can lead to permanent hearing loss, this can have long-term effects.
What You Can Do
The good news is that wearing ear plugs can help to prevent noise-induced hearing loss if worn during exposure to loud noise, such as at concerts.
If you do experience symptoms of temporary hearing loss, remember that even that could have long-term effects or become permanent if repeated. Any symptoms of muffled sounds or difficulty hearing quiet sounds indicates temporary hearing loss. It’s best to visit your audiologist to do a hearing screening and determine the level of damage and if anything should be done.
Los Gatos Audiology is here to help you protect your hearing health. Call today and come in for your yearly hearing exam so you can stay ahead of the curve and protect your hearing, your brain and your health.
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