You are at risk of hearing loss
- Hearing damage can take the form of temporary or permanent ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and loss of the ability to hear clearly.
- Amplified music can cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). A study in Great Britain found that 62% of regular club-goers have symptoms of hearing loss.
- The risk of hearing damage depends on: (1) how loud the music is: (2) how close you are to the speakers; (3) how long you are on the dance floor; (4) previous hearing damage.
- You may be at greater risk if you have a family history of hearing loss.
How to know if you may have hearing damage
- You hear ringing in your ears; you’re sensitive to loud noises.
- You have difficulty hearing others when there is background noise.
- People sound like they’re mumbling or talking too quickly; you have to ask them to repeat themselves.
- You need to turn the volume on the TV or radio higher than others.
- You hear the telephone better through one ear than the other.
- If you have any of these symptoms, get your hearing checked by a hearing health professional. To prevent more damage, wear earplugs!
Be aware of your environment
- Sound levels in dance clubs can be as high as 115 decibels, which can cause damage within a few seconds.
- Always stay at least 10 feet away from the speakers—dancing in front of speakers is extremely risky.
- Use real ear plugs – cotton and rolled up tissue paper provide no protection at all.
- Ask that sound levels be turned down if too loud.
- If you can’t have a normal conversation on the dance floor, don’t try to talk—shouting into someone’s ear can damage hearing.
- Alcohol and drugs lower your sense of pain and increase the risk of hearing damage. Being tired, dehydrated. or overheated also increase risk.
- When dancing, drink two to three cups of water per hour. Take breaks from the music and go to where sound levels are lower.
- If you dance a lot or work in a club, consider getting custom earplugs for music attenuation to protect your hearing without distorting sound.
How to use earplugs
- With clean hands, roll the earplug until it is as thin as possible.
- Quickly insert the tapered end all the way into your ear.
- Hold it in place for at least 30 seconds until it fully expands.
- Release the earplug then gently push it in one more time to ensure a complete fit. The end should be even with the opening of your ear canal.