A leading Irish doctor today warned summer music festival-goers to take care of their hearing and wear earplugs or risk causing permanent damage to their hearing. The warning comes in advance of Oxegen, Ireland’s largest music festival.
According to Dr. Nina Byrnes, Medical Advisor to Hidden Hearing, the hearing healthcare provider, there is real cause for concern as the music level at outdoor concerts such as Oxegen can reach decibel levels of 130dB, far in excess of the recommended safe threshold level of 85db.
“The majority of festival and concert-goers do not understand the damage they may be doing to their hearing and that irreversible hearing loss may occur by listening to loud music, especially if they are exposed to it over a full day or weekend. Outdoor festival and concert sound levels can reach up to 130 db and beyond, the equivalent noise exposure of a jet plane taking off or a pneumatic drill. Noise higher than 85 db can cause serious damage to your hearing and it may take only 15 minutes of exposure to inflict permanent noise induced hearing loss. In the last number of years Hidden Hearing has seen more and more cases of people in their late teens and early 20s with hearing loss issues because they have been exposed to music that is too loud,” said Dr. Byrnes.
The risk of noise induced hearing loss for festival-goers was highlighted in a survey carried out last year by RED C on behalf of Hidden Hearing, which found that 35% of people attending gigs and concerts experienced ringing in their ears or dull hearing. Dr. Byrnes is hoping that her warning won’t fall on deaf ears and is calling on festival-goers to make sure they do not pay a price for those extra decibels and to wear a pair of earplugs.
“My advice to festival-goers is to take responsibility for their hearing and to wear hearing protection such as earplugs, or at the very least take regular breaks from the noise and stay away from the speakers. Good quality earplugs won’t affect the quality of the music – but they will help safeguard your hearing so you can go on enjoying music for years to come,” added Dr. Byrnes.