Does loud music damage hearing?

Although attending concerts is a great social activity, it is wise to be aware of the impact on your hearing. Audiologist Susan Whiteside explains the risks of loud noise and how to protect yourself from permanent hearing damage.

How loud is too loud?

Construction workers have to wear hearing protection because the noise they’re exposed to could damage their ears…yet concert goers are not forced to.

Volume of a conversation from a distance of 1 metre is approximately 65 decibels.

A vacuum cleaner from 3 metres away is approximately 75 decibels.

At 80 decibels, the Ontario Ministry of Labour recommends hearing protection if excposed to for 8 hours.

A jackhammer from 15 metres away is approximately 95 decibels.

The volume at a typical concert and nightclub reaches 120 decibels. Recommended maxium exposure is only 15 minutes with no protection.

Musician style ear plugs can lower the decibels but retain the quality of the music.

Sensations of fullness, numbness and ringing is a sign of temporary hearing loss.

Short term, your ears might be able to recover. Repeated exposure can result in long term hearing loss.

Starkey – Sound Check is an app to measure how loud your environment is and how long you can be there before it is dangerous.

Remember: try standing further away from the speakers, take breaks from the sound and bring some ear plugs with you.

Protect your ears and enjoy your concert safely!