The concerts, clubs and shows in Las Vegas are awesome, there’s no disputing that. Big name entertainers are featured at numerous venues and music festivals, and we have no shortage of exciting events throughout the year.
Here at Desert Valley Audiology, we believe that hearing health is an important part of maintaining an active and abundant life. It’s important to remember to protect your hearing so that you can continue to enjoy the entertainment that Las Vegas has to offer! Exposure to loud sounds can take a toll on your hearing. If you work at an entertainment venue or find your bliss at one frequently, make sure you keep tabs on your hearing by getting regular hearing tests at Desert Valley Audiology.
Play it louder
Club owners know what attracts customers – music so loud you can feel it pulsing on the street. Good music played loud creates an adrenaline rush and a euphoric atmosphere. News about a club or venue with a “killer sound system” spreads fast and attracts the crowds.
While this is attractive for customers, the down side is that after a couple of hours, your hearing can be damaged. With exposure to loud noise, you may notice a ringing in your ears, and conversation may sound muffled. Decibel levels at nightclubs or concerts can easily average as high was 115 or even 120 decibels.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health rates any decibel level over 85 as dangerous to your hearing. To put things into perspective, sounds at 120 decibels are equivalent to standing next to a sandblaster, while a vacuum cleaner is around 70 decibels. Each increase of 10 decibels represents a doubling of the sound. In loud clubs, with extremely loud background noise, you may find that you have to raise your voice to converse with your friends. Someone shouting in your ear loud enough to be heard when the music is at 110 decibels can reach the level of 140 decibels. Over time, exposure to this level of noise could permanently damage your hearing.
Employees at risk
OSHA notes that environments with sound levels above 110 decibels are damaging to your hearing after just four minutes and 43 seconds. The average club employee works about 20 hours a week, and without proper hearing protection, they could be at risk for hearing loss and tinnitus.
One San Francisco club DJ was interviewed for a recent study, and he said hearing loss is a fact of life for employees. He noted classic symptoms of noise induced hearing loss: difficulty hearing conversations at busy restaurants when there was background noise, turning the television volume louder and louder to understand the dialogue, and misunderstanding words when people are talking to him. He also noted that while he wore ear plugs when dancing at clubs during his time off, he did not use sound protection while working.
It’s not just loud clubs and venues that pose a risk. Studies have found blasting your music while exercising increases the likelihood of hearing damage. Earbuds, worn in the ear canal, project sounds at live volumes close to your eardrum. While music is a great motivator for people working out, the high levels of sound in fitness classes and at gyms could be harmful for both employees and exercisers alike.
Break out the earplugs
In the past few years, night clubs and concert promoters in Europe and Australia have been handing out disposable earplugs to customers to protect their hearing. It ensures they will have repeat attendance, because there aren’t the usual complaints about ringing in the ears and hearing loss after an event.
If you work at a Las Vegas venue, or attend concerts and festivals regularly, consider investing in custom hearing protection. In a pinch, disposable foam ear plugs do the trick, but you can get ones that are customized to fit your ears, which provides more thorough protection from loud noises.
Custom hearing protection doesn’t block out the music you want to hear. In fact, it filters out the sounds that are harmful and ensures that your hearing is healthy for future listening. For professional performers and musicians, there are special ear plugs and in-ear monitors available.
Visit Us at Desert Valley Audiology
Our team at Desert Valley Audiology can assist you with custom ear protection, whether you work at a venue or just enjoy clubbing. Remember: noise-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable if you take the necessary measures to protect your hearing. If you think you have hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds or you simply want to keep tabs on your hearing abilities, call us Desert Valley Audiology today for a hearing test.