Hearing Protection At Outdoor Concerts

Outdoor concerts are fun, but you need to protect your hearing. Blog by Beltone of Iowa, Cedar Rapids, IA.

Hearing Protection a Must at Outdoor Concerts

Whether you plan to jam with KISS at the Iowa State Fair or Dwight Yoakam at the McGrath Amphitheatre, outdoor concerts create great memories. But hearing protection is an important part of the outdoor music experience.

You might think because you’re outdoors, the music is more likely to drift away than get extremely loud. Not so, according to research by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI). It’s fairly easy for music to reach 100 decibels, which can damage your hearing in just 15 minutes. In fact, damage can occur once sounds reach 85 decibels. So, considering the length of a concert or music festival and it’s easy to see how hearing damage could occur.

Healthyhearing.com actually lists outdoor concerts as one of the top ten causes of hearing loss, in part, because bands tend to turn the music up louder because there’s nothing to absorb the sound. Yet, a survey by this organization showed people give sunglasses and sunscreen priority over ear protection.

How Hearing Protection Ranks at Outdoor Events


  • Sunglasses – 84.9%


  • Sunscreen – 75.3%


  • Earplugs – 34.2%



*Source: Healthyhearing.com

Signs of Concert-Related Hearing Damage

One of the biggest signs of hearing damage is when the concert is over and you have a ringing in your ears, also called tinnitus. Many times the damage is temporary but the damage from recurrent episodes can add up over time, especially if you like to go to lots of outdoor concerts. Promoting hearing protection is more than pointing out decibel levels. It requires a psychological change, educating people that hearing is as important as their eyes or skin.

Ear Plugs Provide Hearing Protection

It’s not just older people who need to be concerned about hearing protection. Actually, researchers are finding increased hearing loss in younger people as well. Once people in all demographic groups get past the mindset that protecting their eyes with sunglasses is more important than hearing protection, the solution is fairly easy. Earplugs are easy to find-at drug stores or discount stores. Made of foam or silicone, they block out sounds at higher decibels. They can be reused, too.

Even if you’ve been careful to protect hearing, some hearing loss in life is inevitable. If you hear people but are having trouble understanding them, that’s a sign of hearing loss. If you have ringing in your ears that you especially notice when you are in a quiet space, you could have tinnitus. You should seek professional evaluation at a reputable hearing aid center like Beltone of Iowa. Hearing protection and treatment for hearing loss is important!


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