Why You Should Wear Hearing Protection At Loud Gigs
And You'll Be Amazed How Little Good Protection Costs
I've always been glad that I wore ear plugs from a young age. I first started playing gigs are the age of eleven and it took me no time at all to notice the damage that it was causing to my ears. At first I did nothing but by the time I had reached sixteen years old, I was playing regular gigs and I would often wake up the next day with some slight ringing in my ears. I decided to take action and purchase some ear plugs and I have never looked back. Listed below are a few pros and cons about hearing protection and what you can expect to experience and pay for it if you haven't used any before.
You Will Probably Lose Some High Frequencies
Unless you pay for expensive custom moulded ear plugs you will probably experience a loss of high frequencies. These frequencies are responsible for things like clarity in sound and they do make things sound very lively and exciting. However, they can also be very damaging to your ears. They sound incredibly piercing and are often very uncomfortable to listen to and this is one of the reasons why most mass production ear plugs cut them out. As a result of losing these frequencies, it can feel a little bit like you are listening to something as if you were underwater but to be honest, it's really not that bad. You can still make out song lyrics and you can still hear every instrument in a live band or on a recording. Considering that you could lose your hearing in the long run if you don't wear any kind of ear plug then I would say it's worth it.
You Can Get Different Filters To Block Out Different Levels Of Sound
This is a very useful thing to know. So many different kinds of hearing protection will come with changeable filters which block out different amounts of sound. This is a feature of some of the most expensive types but also, many of the cheaper ones too. Personally, I find that I have my 25db filters in most of the time. It makes sense seeing as I'm around loud music a lot due to my work commitments. However, there are often sound sources which don't strike us as being particularly loud but they do have potential to damage us. If you've ever seen a live orchestra or been to a football match then these are examples of such things and they are also examples of when something like a 15db filter would work quite nicely. It wouldn't block out so much sound that you lose the sense of atmosphere but it would still protect your hearing.
The video below contains some great advice on choosing filters and also it points out some everyday situations that you might not suspect would actually damage your hearing.
You Are Much Less Likely To Suffer From Tinnitus
Whilst I can't guarantee that you will avoid tinnitus if you use ear plugs, my experience has been that I have managed to maintain a very good amount of my hearing. I went to music school, played in bands every day and now I do gigs roughly three or four times a week and I have no hearing problems. I know plenty of people who didn't use protection and are now suffering as a result. I have had to give up a few things like listening to iPods or using headphones but it's not been a problem and I can still do what I love for a living.
Good ear plugs are not as expensive as you might think. Take a look at these ones below made by Alpine. They contain three different levels of protection, there are spare plugs should you lose any and they have a handy container to store them in. This makes them easy to carry around easy to keep them clean and avoid any kind of ear infection. I have been using them in conduction with my custom moulded plugs for years. They have served me very well and I would highly recommend them. They are also very affordable and durable.
If you've found this information useful then please leave me a comment below. I'd love to hear about your experiences with this!
Amazon Price: $34.99 $29.99 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 16, 2015)