It is widely known that Austin is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” We embrace it, we celebrate it and quite frankly it is one of the best things about living in ATX. At any given time you can find live music of any genre somewhere in Austin.
The spring kicks off festival season with SXSW on March 7th and about a week after SXSW ends I will inevitably receive phone calls from festival goers concerned because their ears are ringing. Our previous blogs on tinnitus, temporary threshold shift and use of hearing protection addressed many of the concerns that I will be hearing. More often than not when I broach the idea of hearing protection to people I am met with resistance. Why? Because they show, they reduce the quality of the music, and they are not perceived to be cool. All of these concerns can be addressed with custom hearing protection.
Recent studies show that Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is on the rise, and not among the population you might expect. It is in our children and the youth. It is estimated that almost 20% of the US population between the ages of 9-18 have NIHL. I’ll take a moment while that sinks in. NIHL is completely preventable, which is the worst part of all. On the way to this year’s Super Bowl stadiums were competing to be the loudest. At one point Seattle was trying to exceed 140dB, a level that causes instantaneous hearing loss and can induce pain. This is also the level used in hearing loss research to deafen chickens to observe how they can regenerate their hearing. As the quest to be the loudest is glorified to our youth they will develop hearing loss, a disability widely associated with age.
To the thousands of people who visit our fair city to enjoy the live music and everything Austin has to offer, please protect your ears. For audiophiles, or those consistently around noise, please have some custom musician’s earplugs made for yourself. Swirl some colors together and let your ears Keep Austin Weird!
They will last for many years, and you will be able to enjoy music into your golden years.
Our office can be reached for custom protection at (512)258-2300.
Paige Peterson, AuD, PhD, CCC-A, FAAA, ABA
Dr. Paige Peterson is an Audiologist at Great Hills ENT in Austin, TX and specializes in hearing related disorders including tinnitus and hearing loss, neurophysiological disorders as well as dizziness/balance disorders. Dr. Peterson is Board Certified in Audiology and is currently accepting new adult and pediatric audiology patients. 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, hearing aids, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.