Many people love live music. It’s an electrifying atmosphere where you can feel the bass thumping in your chest. What many don’t realize is that same sound could be irreparably damaging their hearing. Let us break it down. Your inner ear contains tons of little hairs called cilia. These hairs vibrate when there is sound and then carry electrical energy to the brain. That is how you process sound. With especially loud sounds there is the potential to damage the cilia. They are irreplaceable so any damage that is done is permanent. Just one concert with you standing by the amps could affect you for the rest of your life.
Decibels (dB) are a unit of judging the intensity/loudness of sound. A person talking at a regular volume puts out around 60 dB. Anything over 85 dB can cause hearing loss. At a rock concert, the sound can get up to anywhere from 120 dB or more. This is the reason many band rooms have things like noise dampeners and carpet. It can reduce a lot of excess noise. If you live in the Birmingham area, I would suggest you use the best carpet cleaner in Birmingham for after you have emptied your spit valve a million times (I’m talking to you brass and woodwind players!)
Symptoms of hearing loss include trouble hearing someone over background noise, difficulty hearing on phone calls, ringing in the ears, thinking people are mumbling, and other people complaining that you have the TV too loud. If you suspect that you might have damaged hearing, you can go to an audiologist to get checked. Unfortunately, if you have damage then there is not a lot they can do to help you unless you would benefit for a hearing aid. There are ways however, to prevent hearing loss. The number one way would be to make friends with your ear buds. You should wear them at concerts, when you are mowing the lawn, and when using power tools. It would be even better if you could avoid these noises all together. Don’t stand by the speakers at a concert, don’t play music too loud when you have on headphones (especially ear buds), and just turn the volume down on things. You will acclimate. Ears are sensitive. They need the tender loving care that you give to the rest of your body. While playing your favorite song full blast in your car seems fun and exciting, next time take a minute to think about the cost that you might be paying.