You are at risk of hearing loss
- Hearing damage can take the form of temporary or permanent ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and loss of the ability to hear clearly.
- Amplified music can cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). A study in Great Britain found that 62% of regular clubbers have symptoms of hearing loss.
- The risk of hearing damage depends on: (1) how loud the music is; (2) how close you are to the speakers; (3) how long you are on the dance floor; and (4) previous hearing damage.
- You may be at risk if you have a family history of hearing loss.
Do you have hearing damage?
- You have ringing in your ears.
- You’re sensitive to loud noises.
- You have difficulty hearing others when there is background noise.
- People sound like they’re mumbling or talking too quickly; you have to ask them to repeat themselves.
- You need to turn the volume on the TV or radio higher than others.
- You hear the telephone better through one ear than the other.
If you have any of these symptoms, get your hearing checked by a hearing health professional. To prevent more damage, wear earplugs!
Be aware of your environment
- Sound levels in dance clubs can be as high as 115 decibels, which can cause damage within a few seconds
- Stay at least 10 feet away from the speakers – dancing in front of the speakers is very risky.
- Use ear plugs – cotton and rolled up tissue paper provide NO protection.
- Ask that sound levels be turned down if too loud.
- Don’t talk on the dance floor – shouting into ears can damage hearing.
- Alcohol and drugs lower your sense of pain and increase the risk of hearing damage. Being tired, dehydrated, or overheated also increase risk.
- Drink plenty of water. Take 10-30 minute breaks where sound levels are lower.
- If you dance a lot or work in a club, consider getting custom earplugs for music attenuation to protect your hearing without distorting sound.
How to use ear plugs
- With clean hands, roll the earplug until it is as thin as possible.
- Quickly insert the tapered end all the way into your ear.
- Hold it in place for at least 30 seconds until it fully expands.
- Release the earplug then gently push it in one more time to ensure a complete fit. The end should be even with the opening of your ear canal.