Summertime and the living can be noisy especially for concert goers who are taking in summer festivals around the world.
“Summer concerts are a fantastic tradition for music fans of all ages,” said David Smriga, M.A., president of AuDNet Inc. “But as the volume of the music rises, attendees need to be aware of the effects on hearing.”
The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – the body that regulates safe listening guidelines for the workplace – has set time limits for exposures to sound levels of 85 dB and greater. It takes only 30 minutes for the volumes recorded during a concert to violate OSHA standards.
“Heightened and prolonged noise levels at concerts can impair the tiny outer hair cells in the inner ear. These cells are key to ensuring normal hearing, especially for low level sounds and understanding speech in noisy environments,” Smriga added. “Concert goers can greatly reduce any damage to hearing by monitoring sound levels via smartphone apps to determine when to wear protective earplugs while attending shows.”
Outer hair cells show a reduction in their ability to function when exposed to loud noise; however, they have the ability to fully recover within 48 hours.
“It is generally accepted that repeated exposure to noise levels above OSHA safety levels can lead to permanent damage in the tiny hair cells,” AuDNet states.
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