I love listening to live music (if you read my bio, you would know this). I can’t make it to too many shows (with a toddler at home), but I make an effort when I can. I went to a concert last week and was inspired to write a blog about it. No, I am not going to write about the great guitar riffs-But I am going to write about “threshold shift.”
Have you ever been to a loud bar/restaurant/concert and left with ringing in your ears and the feeling that you cannot hear very well. This is called a temporary threshold shift, which occurs when you are exposed to loud noises. Usually, after a period of time to recover, your hearing will return back to normal. Over time and with repeated exposures, this can develop into a permanent hearing loss (called noise induced hearing loss). Rarely, very loud blasts of sound can cause a permanent threshold shift which causes immediate hearing loss.
What can you do to protect yourself? Earplugs!
I know that earplugs don’t look very cool and may not match your concert-going attire. BUT, you have to think about preserving your hearing NOW. Otherwise, you may be wearing hearing aids (which are much more expensive) in order to enjoy the music that you love. Another possibility is ringing in the ears or tinnitus. Tinnitus is kind of like having your own concert in your head, though probably not one you would choose.
If you think ear plugs “dampen” the sounds at concerts and the music just doesn’t sound like it should, you might consider musician’s ear plugs, which can be custom made at our office. Protect your ears so you can continue to enjoy your favorite bands in the future. And if you take kids to loud music events, make sure to protect their ears, too.
Great Hills ENT serves the greater Austin area including Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.