When you’re going to watch a live gig, whether it be at an academy, an arena or even a festival, the last thing you are going to want to be worrying about is your ears. However, experts and musicians alike are speaking out about the growing issue of music-related tinnitus.
National charity Action on Hearing Loss is urged festival goers last summer to consider their hearing before attending large events. Tinnitus is often described as a ringing or buzzing in your ears, and six million people are affected by it in the UK alone, so it is an important issue.
Many musicians and celebrities have spoken out about their problems with tinnitus, following years of exposure to loud music both in clubs and at gigs. Live music clearly brings with it risks in this regard, but there are many ways that people can enjoy it as much as usual whilst protecting their ears at the same time.
Gemma Twitchen, senior audiologist at Action on Hearing loss explained: “We don’t want people to stop going to festivals and music events – that’s not what this is about. However, people may not be aware that there is a risk of damaging your hearing if you expose yourself to too much loud noise. The good news is that if you aware of the risks and take the simple steps to protect yourself, you can still enjoy the music.
“You can help ensure both you and your hearing survives the festival season by investing in ear plugs. There is a misconception that if you wear them you can’t hear or enjoy the music, but this is simply not true. Ear plugs will block out the dangerous sound frequencies, still allowing you to listen to the music and enjoy it”.
The charity also recommends not to stand too near the speakers for a prolonged amount of time, to take breaks between acts and make sure you keep your body hydrated to increase blood circulation and keep your body and ears healthy. If the ringing in your ears does not go away after a 24-hour period, the charity recommends people visit their local GP.
So will you be making these simple changes to protect yourselves against tinnitus at gigs and festivals next year?