Seeing your favorite band in concert is often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. While your Arizona hearing specialist wants you to enjoy the show, they also need to make sure you understand the risks associated with attending such an event. Exposure to loud noises can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus.
How Can Noise Hurt Your Hearing?
Sounds are measured in decibels. Anything measuring over 85 dB can cause damage to your inner ear. To put this number into perspective:
- A normal conversation is around 60 dB
- Heavy Tucson traffic is around 85 dB
- A chainsaw is around 100 dB
- A rock concert is around 120 dB
Sounds around 85 dB can cause damage after 8 hours. Sounds around 100 dB can cause damage after 15 minutes. And finally, sounds over 120 dB can cause damage instantaneously.
Hearing loss caused by exposure to loud sounds is called noise-induced hearing loss; tinnitus can also be caused by loud noises.
Within the inner ear, there are small hairs. When a soundwave enters the ear it causes the hairs to move; this movement sends an electrical signal through the auditory nerve to the brain where it is interpreted as sound. If these hairs become damaged (which can occur when exposed to loud noises), they can begin to randomly send signals to the brain. This causes tinnitus.
Age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noises and earwax blockage are all common conditions that cause inner ear damage.
Can Tinnitus Be Prevented?
Okay, so now that we understand how concerts can cause tinnitus, your Arizona hearing specialist is here to help.
Through the use of a very simple tool, you are able to continue to attend concerts while protecting your ears from hearing loss and tinnitus. The secret? Earplugs.
Your local Tucson pharmacy sells disposable, one-size-fits-all earplugs. These can be used in a pinch but do not provide the same level of protection as their custom-made counterparts.
Your Tucson audiologist will take a mold of your ear; from there, the earplug is created. There are a number of specialty earplugs on the market. The ones needed to protect your hearing at a concert are called musician’s earplugs. They are able to reduce sound levels evenly so music and speech sound clear. These plugs prevent dangerously loud sounds from entering the ear but still keep the integrity of the music intact.
Don’t let the concert of a lifetime leave you with a lifelong condition. Contact your Arizona hearing specialist today to learn more.