Hearing protection at a music festival

Have Some Summer Fun, But Think Ahead

Summer is full of fun. And one of the great things that happen in the summer is music festivals.

But … festivals can be loud. Some precautions should be taken to ensure the fun doesn’t leave a mark on your hearing.

And this isn’t an “oldies” show phenomena. A quarter of U.S. adults between the ages of 18 to 44 report hearing loss issues. Not to mention the widespread hearing issues reported by musicians over the years.

One obvious precaution is to wear earplugs, especially if you plan on getting close to the stage (and thus closer to the speaker stacks). Many festivals have vendors who sell earplugs on the side, though expect to pay the markup for what are probably lesser-quality products.

For the best earplugs, visit a hearing professional before going to the concert site. If you’re a concert devotee and put yourself in loud music environments on a regular basis, consider getting some high-end ear molds, which a care provider can customize for you. They are discreet, rugged, and offer the best protection.

It also helps to give your ears a sabbatical. For the amount of time you’re exposed to high-decibel music, take the same amount of time to let your ears recover. Wander around the perimeter, see some acoustic acts, and peruse some merchandise. Give your ears a breather.

Remember, hearing loss due to chronic exposure to high-decibel sound is not treatable. There are no miracle cures for hearing loss — no equivalent of joint replacements later in life. Once you lose your hearing, there’s no way to get it back without external devices like hearing aids.