Music can make you feel happy, motivated and even euphoric! These feelings and experiences aren’t unsubstantiated either. Research shows that music activates regions of the brain that are thought to be involved in reward, motivation, emotion and arousal. These brain structures are known to be active in response to other euphoria-inducing stimuli, such as food, sex and drugs (Blood & Zatorre, 2001). Further, studies show music enhances intelligence, improves physical performance, increases productivity, improves mood, the list goes on and on (http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml).
With all the positive impacts music has, it’s hard to imagine there are any downsides associated with it. BUT there can be. Most Americans consume music at dangerously loud levels and often don’t even realize it. One of the most common situations, where exposure to dangerous sound levels occurs, is at concerts. On average, concerts measure in at 115dB or louder! A person can only listen to music at that level, without hearing protection, for a little less than 30 seconds (not even a full song) before damaging their hearing (http://www.dangerousdecibels.org/education/information-center/decibel-exposure-time-guidelines/).
Unfortunately, most concertgoers don’t wear hearing protection and for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the reason, damage to the hearing system occurs every time. Because the effects of noise-induced damage take place very gradually, people underestimate the impact it has until ringing in the ears persists or communication is hindered due to hearing loss. At that point, the damage is done and irreversible. Therefore, hearing protection must be part of the concert going experience!
There are a wide-variety of hearing protection products available and some are specifically designed to preserve sound quality so that the integrity of music is not jeopardized. At the very least, consider wearing foam earplugs that are inexpensive and can be purchased at almost any drug store or even at many concerts. Contact us for more information on some of your other options.