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Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2016

Can Earplugs Protect Hearing and Let You Hear?

Molokai in concert

Most people wouldn't stand anywhere near a jumbo jet engine without earplugs, but they'd casually enter stadiums and concerts just as loud. Even recommendation by audiologist to wear hearing protection or earplugs to these events often gets ignored. After all, you go there to hear the music or be part of the sporting event and don't want to "muffle" the experience. But what if earplugs not only protected your hearing, but allowed you to hear and enjoy the event?

Loud concert or sporting sounds can cause the temporary sensations of muffled ears and even temporary tinnitus or ringing of the ears. These temporary responses (which can become permanent) are called temporary threshold shift (TTS). TTS happens because of a chemical compound called ATP--the ear's way of protecting the cochlea from damage. But the efforts of your ears to shield you from loud noises can't provide adequate protection.

Sound is measured by decibels. The louder the sound the higher the decibel. These loud decibels can damage the hair cells and nerve fibers within the inner ear and can cause noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). NIHL is the number one cause of hearing loss and yet is a preventable form of hearing loss. Despite it being preventable, NIHL is on the rise among all age groups.

People who play music and attend loud concerts and sporting events have a greater risk of noise induced hearing loss. In the past many in the music field ignored the effects of loud music on hearing, but Danny Wimmer Presents, one of the largest independent music festival produces in the US, is trying to change, allowing a new healthier concern for hearing to take center stage.

Louder than Life a festival and concert held in Louisville, Kentucky that features stages nicknamed, "Monster Stage" and "Loudmouth Stage" has partnered with Vibes Earplugs to bring a full and safe concert going experience to attendees.

Although custom ear protection is best, if you haven't seen your audiologist lately and are headed to a concert, remember that any hearing protection, especially foam earplugs, are better than no hearing protection! The problem comes when concert goers complain that foam earplugs muffle certain sounds, giving the attendee a less complete experience. According to the Vibe manufacturer their earplugs don't do that. As taken from the manufacturer's website, their earplugs, "allows you to hear the music exactly the way it intended to be heard, only without the damaging decibels that cause your ears to ring and become damaged."

There's a lot of technical jargon on their website, feel free to pop in and see for yourself, But the gist of it is that their earplugs allow concert goes to hear everything without the loud damaging decibels that can cause hearing loss. They protect hearing while delivering all the music, cheers, and sounds you want to hear.

Not only are complimentary Vibe earplugs being offered to every VIP ticketed attendee, but these earplugs will also be offered for sale for concert attendees. And according to an article on Hearing Review, "Each pair of Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs purchased includes a donation to Hear The World Foundation."
Great music and a great cause! And these earplugs at 23$ a pair are affordable.

Now, if you are a true music lover or sporting event goer, you might want to consider purchasing hearing protection that also allows you to hear concerts and sport events, but that are also customized to your ear canal. These customized earplugs are more pricey, but they might be more comfortable for someone who will be wearing them a lot. If you want to learn more about hearing protection that is customizable, visit your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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