Protecting your hearing during the Festival Season

POSTED ON: 02/07/2018

Thousands of music lovers will be flocking to outdoor music events this summer and the biggest problem facing them may not be the British weather! 

Noise levels close to the stage at music events can reach 110 decibels or more. That's like standing next to a jackhammer drilling into concrete!

Local, award winning hearing aid audiologist, Karen Finch is very concerned about the problem, as spending too long listening to loud music can cause permanent damage to your ears, resulting in problems such as hearing loss and tinnitus.

One survey* of over 2,700 people at some of the UK’s biggest music festivals, including Latitude, Glastonbury and Reading, 84% said they experienced dullness of hearing or ringing in the ears after listening to loud music. Over half admitted that they had suffered pain in their ears from the loud music.

Half (50%) had also experienced pain in their ears while listening to loud music, yet only 17% had ever taken steps to protect their hearing such as by turning the music down, stepping away from speakers and taking regular breaks.

Karen, who is the managing director of The Hearing Care Centre, based on Upper Brook Street, in Ipswich, says, “These are the first signs of hearing damage. The next morning or a couple of days later, your hearing may gradually return to normal but over time, with continued exposure, there can be permanent damage”.

"The risk of damage to hearing is based on how loud the music is and how long you listen to it for. If you can't talk to someone two metres away without shouting, the noise level could be damaging”, she said.

Volumes of 137 decibels have been recorded near the music stages at some festivals. At 140 decibels, which is the same as a jet plane taking off at close range, your ears start hurting.

Karen who is passionate about educating festival goers said “Taking simple precautions will reduce the risk of hearing damage; including wearing ear protection, standing away from the speakers, and taking regular breaks from the loudest areas.”

Earplugs are the music industry's best-kept secret. DJs and musicians have been wearing earplugs for years and many recommend them to fans. There are different types of music earplugs available, from lowcost and re-usable one-size-fits-all plugs to discrete custom moulds.

Most of them work by reducing the noise level that reaches your ear without destroying the quality of the sound. This means you can still hear the music the way it is, but at a lower volume.

Karen said, “If I could leave festival go-ers with one thought, it would be that, once your hearing is damaged, it's damaged for good. Love your hearing and you can listen to music forever!”


Get protected!

If you are attending any festivals in Ipswich this year or Latitude Festival or any other local music events over the summer, make sure you get your ears some protection. The Hearing Care Centre are suppliers of a wide selection of off-the-shelf and custom made ear plugs that are ideal for festivals. For the full range, either visit their Ipswich practice (11 Upper Brook Street) or buy online at


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