Live music is almost always played at a dangerously loud level. Both the musicians onstage and those enjoying the show from the audience need to take precautions to protect their hearing. Below are five tips to help music enthusiasts preserve their sense of hearing so they can enjoy the music for years to come.
Whether a one-size-fits-all product from the pharmacy or a custom-made earplug crafted from a mold of your ear, wearing earplugs is the simplest and most effective way to protect your hearing. High-end earplugs are able to absorb the noise pressure that can cause damage to your hearing while compromising none of the sound quality. Other plugs work by decreasing the decibel level without altering the clarity of the music.
Rehearse at a Safe Volume
While musicians will go all-out for a sold-out show, there is no reason to put your hearing at risk in rehearsal. Playing a song more quietly can help you break down the structure of the song, giving you an opportunity to hear how the different parts work together.
Turning your volume down, even a little bit, can help protect your hearing.
Take a Step Back
Location is everything. There is no reason you need to stand directly in front of a speaker or monitor, as the best sound is often found in between speakers. Try moving a few rows back, especially if you are in a small venue.
Understanding what causes hearing loss can help you protect yourself.
Sounds are measured in decibels (dB), and anything over 85 dB can cause damage to your ears. To put this into prospective:
- Normal conversation: 60-70 dB
- Movie theater: 74-104 dB
- Motorcycles and dirt bikes: 80-110 dB
- Concerts and sporting events: 94-110 dB
- Sirens: 110-129 dB
- Fireworks show: 140-160 dB
The louder the sound, the shorter time you need to be exposed in order for it to cause irreversible damage. Decibel readers are available to help you monitor your music. If you don’t have one, there are a number of smartphone apps, many of which are free, that can get an accurate rating.
You shouldn’t have to give up what you love in order to preserve your hearing. With the use of custom-made musician’s earplugs, you can continue playing in the band with the confidence that your hearing is protected.
Contact the experts at Wilmington Audiology today to get started.