Our local area has an abundance of music events from indoor concerts to outdoor festivals. While it may be common knowledge to protect your ears and pack a pair of ear plugs for an indoor concert, it is less common to do so for an outdoor concert.

When attending an outdoor music performance, a common misconception is that being outside will dilute the sound making the concert less loud than during an indoor performance. This is not necessarily true. A study cited by the U.S. National Institutes of Health found that outdoor concerts can reach comparable decibel levels to indoor performances. Bring along a pair of ear plugs no matter where your concert is located.

Outdoor concerts and festivals can also prolong your exposure to loud noise. For example, some festivals may be held over multiple days or feature multiple artists which extends the concert longer than a single indoor show. The longer your ears are exposed to dangerous decibel levels the more risk you have for damaging your hearing. All the more reason to pack a pair of ear plugs!

What are the symptoms from too much noise exposure? First, you may leave a concert and feel that sound is muffled. Another symptom can be described as a constant ringing sound within your ears. How often have you heard someone leave a concert and say, “wow, my ears are ringing!” Both of these symptoms are a sign of too much loud noise exposure. Typically, these symptoms are temporary and your hearing will return to normal, but repeated exposure to loud noise can also lead to permanent damage and hearing loss.

Enjoy the music, but also protect your ears! When attending a concert indoors or outdoors be sure to always carrying ear plugs and even pack a pair for a friend!