We all love to go to a rock concert with our best friends, enjoying the night and having a grand old time. However, one of the most overlooked and potentially disastrous mistakes you can make is continued overexposure to extremely loud music. This ultimately leads to ears ringing after concert events, and without breaks can lead to a lifetime of consequences.
Here is an article showing that 1 billion people are at risk for hearing loss from exposure to loud music.
DO YOU REALLY WANT TO RISK IT?
Frequently attending concerts is something that many people, especially teenagers and young adults love to do. After all, they are young and invincible and their bodies can take far more punishment than an older person, right? Party on, dudes!
At first, loud concerts are really enjoyable and fun. The music fills the room or amphitheater and for the most part you can hear every note, every beat of the drum, and every lyric belted out from that vocalist with the superior range. You push forward, trying to get as close as possible to the front row because that’s where the best view and the best sound will come. Achieving your goal, you rejoice, bang your head, crowd surf, or scream as loud as you can because victory is yours.
A heavy metal musician speaks – how to prevent ringing in the ears after concerts.
At first, the loudness is somewhat overwhelming, but you adjust to it and it no longer bothers you. You shout to your pals but they can barely hear you over the blaring guitar riffs and screaming fans. Suddenly, your friend points up and before you know it you are riding a mass of humanity toward the front. Wobbling and shaking, you begin to make your way directly toward the enormous speakers on the side of the stage, coming so close as to be within just a few yards. Now it is so loud as to be almost painful, but your adrenaline overrides it and you make your way back to your friends.
The show finally ends, and exhausted you head back home to sleep it off.
— Guitar Center (@guitarcenter) April 11, 2017
But that’s just it, you can’t sleep because your ears are still ringing after the concert. The room is dead silent but the phantom noise is unmistakeable.
You toss and turn but no matter what you do the “sound” will not go away.
Finally, after about three whole days the ringing ears subside.
This happens to many people regardless of age, and the story is almost always the same. You get your ears blown out by one hard rocking show but then recover within a week. For those who attend many festival shows or follow a band for a living, frequent exposure to painfully loud sound can lead to a permanent ringing in the ears which is called tinnitus.
I am telling you right now.
You do not want to get to the point in your life where you regret not taking care of your hearing because you thought you would never experience tinnitus or a constant ringing in the ears.
I personally love going to concerts, especially heavy metal shows. I have attended over a hundred in my lifetime and I am only in my 30s. I also play in a band and have had my ears punished by hard rocking and loud amps for quite some time.
There was a point in my life where I would come home after a show and find myself unable to fall asleep because the ringing in my ears was so bad. It would persist for days and I would be very angry with myself for not taking the appropriate action to stop my ears ringing after a concert.
Many people however don’t think it is “cool” to wear ear plugs to a concert. Admittedly, you certainly cannot hear as clearly or as much as you would without them, which is a powerful deterrent. I would recommend a few strategies however to stop ringing in ears after a concert:
1. Don’t Stand So Close to the Stage
In many venues, the music actually sounds better further back in the middle to rear seating area. This is because the music has a chance to spread out and fully engulf the room before it smashes into your eardrums. When you are so close, sometimes the loudness itself is far too much power for your ears to handle, and you will quickly become fatigued. Also, if you are too close to the left or right side speakers, you may be getting an overdose of rhythm guitar, or too much from the vocal PA. Position yourself farther back to prevent immediate damage to your ears from being too close.
There really isn’t that much of a benefit from being up so close unless your only goal is to get as close to the musicians as possible. But if your friends are on a mission to get close and you don’t care to join them, don’t! If you do not have adequate ear protection then you are potentially risking your long-terming hearing for no real reason. Later that night you may not be able to sleep from the excessive ringing in the ears as a result of getting to close to the loud speakers. Staying smart is one way to always ensure that your long term hearing will remain intact.
2. Choose the Right Kind of Ear Plugs
There are many different types of earplugs available and some are a better choice for enjoying a loud rock show. There are some that are designed for super heavy duty work such as a construction site. Concert security often will use these because they often could care less who is playing when they have a job to do.
The main gripe people often have is that heavy duty earplugs deaden the sound far too much, especially if you push them deep inside your ear.
Here is an example of ear plugs that most people find undesirable because they block out too much sound:
Instead, try some lighter versions, or plugs that are specifically designed for musicians. These let in certain frequencies that keep somewhat of a pleasing element to the sound intact. They can make a world of difference and are often very cheap. Buy one pack and you and your friends could all benefit from one very smart purchase. This is a great idea particularly if you are attending a festival that has more than one day of live, loud music. You can easily reuse one pair of earplugs over the course of a long weekend. Simpy keep them in your pocket or your wallet and use them as necessary.
One brand I highly recommend is called “Hearos”
3. Use Earplugs to Take a “Break.”
Maybe your favorite artist is playing only the “new stuff” that isn’t as popular or isn’t among your favorite songs. Use this opportunity to take a mini-break and temporarily plug your ears. Place some earplugs about halfway into your ear to deaden the pounding force of the loud music. It is amazing how this strategy alone can save you from sleepless nights and is among the best tips on how to stop ringing in ears after a concert. Within a few hours after a show you might notice that the ringing completely stops altogether. By the next day it is almost assuredly gone.
For many people, it may be too late and much of the damage has been done. Tinnitus has taken over and irresponsibility has left them with a lifetime of potential suffering and lack of sleep.
Concert tinnitus is definitely one of the most common forms of both hearing loss and ringing in the ears. Musicians are at a particular disadvantage because they are on stage next to all of the loud equipment. They also are subject to rehearsal time which adds an extra amount of forceful exposure. It is almost inexcusable for the modern musician not to protect their hearing.
The question you have to ask yourself, if you are a concertgoer, is whether or not you are willing to potentially sacrifice a lifetime of quality hearing for a few hours of fun.
How to Make Your Ears Stop Ringing
I’ll say it again – provided the band doesn’t suck (a rarity these days), live music certainly sounds full and powerful without earplugs. The problem is often the person’s strategy, as I mentioned above. You don’t necessarily have to wear them for the entire show. Pick and choose the appropriate times to use them to maximize both the fun you have as well as the amount of hearing ability you will retain.
There is little reason to lose your hearing over one or two concerts. You are potentially sacrificing one of your five main senses for the remainder of your entire life!
If you find yourself already suffering from hearing loss and tinnitus from attending concerts, there are now resources and treatments available to help stop ringing in ears after a concert.
Take a quick online survey to see if you qualify for help. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be looking to end what could potentially be a lifetime of ringing in the ears. Check out our recommendations for the best musician ear plugs.
Act now and be glad that you did. There may still be hope.