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Summer is finally here! We’re all excited to take some time off work, spend the evenings outside, and take in a few of the amazing summer festivals happening around town. We want you to enjoy your summer festival season in style, without damaging your hearing.
One of our favorite summertime festivals are outdoor music concerts. When we talk about festivals we often think about great food trucks, beer gardens, glow sticks, and portable toilets. They’re fun for the whole family and give us the opportunity to enjoy the great weather, reconnect with friends, discover a few new bands, and see our favorite singer up close and personal. However, music festivals are notorious for being extremely loud, and you should be worried about your family’s ears.
How Loud Is Too Loud?
When it comes to outdoor events, we often think that the wide-open spaces will protect our hearing since the sound isn’t bouncing off the walls of an indoor concert hall. If you’ve ever set up your festival chair near a speaker, you know that just isn’t true, and you’ve experienced the full blast of sounds meant to stretch across the entire festival grounds.
Most concerts, whether indoors or outdoors, really crank up the volume. They often range from 110 to 130 decibels (dB), or roughly the same volume as standing next to an active jackhammer. Sounds over 85 dB can cause permanent hearing damage, so exposing your ears to extremely loud sounds at concerts will really damage your hearing. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that a billion teenagers and young adults risk premature hearing loss due to noisy events, loud public venues, and overuse of personal listening devices with the volume turned up too loud. Since we’re excited to hear the music, and love the festival atmosphere, we often fail to realize how loud the sounds really are, and don’t know we’re risking our hearing.
Signs of Hearing Loss
At a summer festival we’re usually not thinking about our hearing, and are distracted by our friends, our kids, or thoughts about what we’re going to eat next. If you’ve been to a festival recently and you are experiencing migraines, tinnitus or ringing in the ears, you’re showing signs of hearing loss. Are sounds muffled, or are you having difficulty following conversations? If your answer is yes, then your fun-filled festival weekend has taken its toll on your hearing.
Protecting Your Hearing
This summer festival season, don’t forget about your hearing! Taking these few simple steps could save your hearing, and you could avoid tinnitus, headaches, and hearing loss while still enjoying all the summer has to offer.
Earplugs: One of the most important things you can do for your hearing health is to wear hearing protection! Make sure to always have a few foam earplugs in your bag and distribute them among your family and friends when things get loud.
Take 5: Another way to protect your hearing is to take a break from all the noise. If you’re going to be at a festival all day, take a few minutes every now and then to walk away from the stage, hang out in a quiet place, or even go sit in your car for 5 minutes to give your ears a break and let them rest from all the noise exposure. Prolonged exposure can be just as damaging as the volume of the music, so give your ears a break.
Location: Picking your location for the day is also important. Try not to sit in front of the speakers, or too close too the stage. The best place for your ears is in the middle, or towards the back, where you won’t be bombarded by excessively loud sounds.
Sound Detox: After a weekend at a festival, give you and your family a hearing detox day. Leave the TV off, turn off the music, and get the kids to do some quiet activities like doing a craft or reading a book. Have a quiet day without a lot of sound and give your ears and brain a chance to really rest.
Having Trouble Hearing?
If you’re having trouble hearing, whether from normal summertime activities or from the festival you were at last weekend, visit us at Lifestyle Hearing Solutions to assess your hearing and do the right thing for your hearing health.