Hearing protection is a subject that we feel is overlooked time and time again for some odd reason. Our ears are indefinitely one of the most important parts of our body, giving us the ability to make us hear the wonderful things the world has to offer.
Our ears are made up of very delicate structures which, when sound is made, channels into our eardrums. When the sound waves hit the eardrum, it vibrates and sends the sound to the middle ear. This is how sound is made. (Welcome back to school)
Imagine a life without hearing: You wouldn’t be able to listen to your favorite music or even converse in conversation with your favorite people.
A study shows that a survey of 500 people aged 18-24 reported that 46% experienced a ringing/buzzing sound in some altercation with music or excessive noise levels. From either listening to music through inner earphones or going to clubs, it all adds up.
From my own experience, I’ve had sharp ringing pains in the past, even listening to stuff at home, but I chose to just let it slide at the time. Also being involved in clubs is always going to have an effect on my hearing. It’s only as of late, I’ve been experiencing a lot of ringing even just simply walking to work or doing day to day activities which is quite scary.
Since you, our Four Four audience are music fanatics, and a majority listens to music relentlessly every day. We want to spread awareness of how precious our hearing is and how you can preserve it, as once your hearing is damaged there’s not much you can do to fix it.
FOUR WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR EARS:
1. Ear plugs.
One of the most common ways to protect your hearing would be earplugs. Plugs come in various sizes and filters to suit every user. From excessive noise levels in clubs/festivals, these are the simplest way to avoid any bad situations. The plugs eliminate certain frequencies that damage your hearing but at the same time you’re able to easily maintain a conversation. There are tonnes of different earplugs you can get, here are 3 examples.
Millennium Whisper Basic Earplug, incredibly cheap and better than nothing. Pick them up here for €6.50.
AlpineSafe Pro cost no more than €22.50 and can be bought here. These are excellent value.
Custom earplugs, these are not cheap, but you only get one pair of ears so it’s a sensible investment for a full time raver. You can purchase custom made plugs here from a local Dublin company.
2. Give your ears time to rest.
With all music fans listening to tunes for 3/4 hours of their day is not a bad thing at all (especially if it’s good music), but there comes to a point where we need to give our ears a rest. Even if that means sacrificing listening to music, going to bed.
3. Turn down the volume.
This would only apply to personal use and not clubs of course. You can’t ask the DJ/sound engineer to turn down the music. Music is better loud. Nobody likes to lower the volume on a track they’re enjoying, but excessive abuse of loud noise levels is going to harm your beautiful hearing. So, just lower down that track and help your ears.
Another technique some use is the 60:60 rule. The 60:60 rule is to listen to your music at 60% of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day, this could easily be applied but for some 60 minutes of music a day is nothing.
4. Cotton Swabs.
As good as these pieces of cotton feel when cleaning our ears, they’re actually very dangerous to our eardrums. From reports of people puncturing their eardrums to impacted wax, they’re a very unseen cause of hearing damage. If you’re looking into getting your ears cleaned look for some professional care.