Home Science/Health Noise at pubs, clubs and concerts could damage hearing

Noise at pubs, clubs and concerts could damage hearing


London : Regular exposure to noise in pubs, club and concerts may lead to hearing impairment, suggests a study of 1,381 people in Britain.

More than half of the surveyed people visited bars where they had to shout to be heard at least once a week. A quarter said the music in these venues was too loud and a third thought hearing loss would affect their lives.

About 90 percent of people who frequent pubs, clubs and concerts experienced dullness of hearing or ringing in the ears after a night on the town, found the study by RNID – the largest charity representing the nine million hearing impaired people in Britain.

Nine out of 10 young people aged between 16-30 experienced signs of hearing damage after a night out in a noisy venue, reported the online edition of BBC news.

John Low, chief executive of RNID said: "Our research shows that most young people have experienced the first signs of permanent hearing damage after a night out, yet have no idea how to prevent it.

"With regular exposure to music at high volumes in clubs, gigs and bars, it's only too easy to clock up noise doses that could damage their hearing forever."

He said music lovers, musicians and DJs could take simple steps to protect themselves from damaging decibels on a night out or while performing.

They could take a five-minute rest period after every hour of listening to allow ears to recover. Standing away from loud speakers in pubs, clubs, gigs and concerts may also help.

Moreover, taking regular breaks from the dance floor and using chill-out areas to give ears a rest from loud music may also provide protection to the ears.

Sound pressure is measured in decibels (dB). Like a temperature scale, the decibel scale goes below zero. The average person can hear sounds down to about 0 dB, the level of rustling leaves.

Some people with very good hearing can hear sounds down to -15 dB. If a sound reaches 85 dB or stronger, it can cause permanent hearing damage. The length of time you listen to a sound affects how much damage it will cause. The quieter the sound, the longer you can listen to it safely.

A quiet room at night is 20 dB whereas ordinary spoken conversation is 60 dB. The level of noise in a busy street could be 70 dB while some personal music players at high volume could be 105 dB.