Ear plugs for concerts and festivals

Jun 08, 2023 in Hearing Care

Four women jumping outside wearing sunglasses.
Natasha Sopher, Hearing Aid Dispenser at Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care.

Headed to a music festival or gig this summer? Before you start pitching your tent and rocking to your favourite tunes, we’ve got some information you won’t want to miss!

We had a chat with Natasha Soper, Audiologist and music lover, for the lowdown on why you should be wearing hearing protection to your next event!

Why do we need to wear earplugs for concerts and festivals?

“We are exposed to a lot of noise during our daily lives, from the hustle and bustle of city traffic to children’s laughter and the melodic sound of bird song in the morning. Most of these sounds are harmless, but what many of us don’t realise is the potential damage exposure to certain levels of commonplace noise can pose to our ears. This is why concerts and festivals pose such a significant risk!

“Sound is measured using a scale called decibels (dB), with normal conversation averaging around 60dB. Prolonged exposure to sounds above 70dB can and will harm our hearing, the extent of which depends on the amount of exposure. Music festivals and live concerts can rack up a lot of decibels, typically ranging from anywhere between 100 and 110dB.

Noise decibels chart

To put things into perspective, the safe exposure time for sound at 85dB is 8 hours; as recognised by the Health and Safety Executive. However, this safe exposure time is halved with each increase of 3dB. By the time we reach 100dB, the safe exposure time is only 15 minutes! As we all know, concerts and festivals go on for a lot longer than this, which is why it’s so important to look after our hearing.

“This is where earplugs come to the rescue. Well fitted ear plugs help reduce the noise to a safer level, minimising the risk of noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus. With hearing protection, you can enjoy the music safely for a much longer period. It’s important to note that there are still limits to the protection ear plugs offer which is why we would always recommend seeking the help of an audiologist.”

What are the different types of ear plugs available?

“When it comes to ear plugs, there are many different types available. These include foam, rubber, silicone putty and custom plugs. Foam, rubber and silicone putty ear plugs are all readily available for purchase online or in stores whereas custom ear plugs have to be specially ordered and impressions taken by a hearing care professional.

custom moulded ear plugs

“Each type of ear plug offers various benefits, but custom-moulded ear plugs offer the most comfort and security. They are tailor-made to the shape of your ear, making them ideal for all the headbangers amongst us. Custom ear plugs also offer more flexibility in terms of decibel reduction thanks to the different filters they are fitted with, ranging from 10dB of reduction all the way up to 27 dB. This allows custom ear plugs to be used for a variety of different activities like sleeping, riding a motorbike, or playing music.”

Why you shouldn't be embarrassed to wear earplugs

“There is a common misconception that ear plugs can hinder the quality of live music but that is far from the truth. In fact, many people who wear custom ear plugs find that the sound quality of live music is better whilst wearing ear plugs, and this is especially true when it comes to custom plugs.

Two young women enjoying a music festival

“Gone are the days when ear plugs were seen as embarrassing. Hearing protection is becoming increasingly popular as we, as a society, try to look after ourselves better. Just as sunglasses protect our eyesight, ear plugs protect our hearing. Recognising this will help us prevent noise-induced hearing loss or debilitating tinnitus.

“Nowadays ear plugs can come in a variety of styles and colours, meaning they can become as much of a fashion accessory as earrings!”

Where can you get ear plugs?

Here at Leightons, our hearing care professionals are dedicated to helping you live life to the fullest by finding the best hearing protection for you. We offer a wide range of ear plugs to suit all your hearing protection needs.

So why not book a hearing protection appointment at your nearest Leightons practice and get yourself festival-ready?

To book an appointment you can call us on 0800 40 20 20 or simply click the button below.

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