Why is there Ringing Ears after a Concert?
When the music doesn’t stop! After enjoying a live performance of their favorite singer or band some concert goers experience a ringing in their ears after the concert has ended. The ringing sound in the ears can be a high-pitched whine or squeal or may sound like constant “static” or “white noise”; the kind of sound you might hear when standing too close to concert speakers when the music is really loud. While this post-concert ringing in the ears may last a day or two and be extremely annoying, generally speaking it is not a serious condition.
If you have had ringing in the ears after a concert, the explanation is actually simple: your ears were damaged when they were subjected to the loud music and screams of the concert audience. There are fine hair cells in the inner ear which can become damaged when exposed to loud noise. The hair cells of the inner ear are designed to produce nerve signals. When a sound is made the hair cells are stimulated to “fire” sending their signals to the auditory area of the brain which interprets the sound. But, if there is an auditory trauma – such as a very loud sound, these fine hair cells may become damaged and start “firing” on their own. The nerve signals from the false firing are sent on to the brain and thus the “ringing” or other “ear noise” is heard. Now, one answer to avoid ringing in the ears could be to avoid going to concerts – but, that’s really no fun at all. Going to a few concerts a year will is not likely to cause a permanent ringing in your ears. For most post-concert ear-ringing sufferers the ears do heal and the ringing in the ears subsides. But, it is annoying at the time and there are some things you can do to avoid having to deal with this affliction.
Why not enlist the help of ear plugs? Some regular concert goers have done just that and no one is the wiser. You can hear the music and enjoy the thrill of the concert and still give your ears an extra layer of protection. Amazingly, some ear plugs are now so small you will be the only one who knows they’re there! And, you will be in good company. There are plenty of band members who do the very same thing. They protect their ears from years of exposure to loud music by putting in the ear plugs every time they play their instrument. Another practical suggestion; do what you can to avoid close proximity to the speakers. The closer you are to the speakers, the greater the noise level for your ears and the greater the chance of damage. Once you get post-concert ringing in your ears, there really isn’t a cure. You just have to live with it until is goes away. Most of the time the hair cells in the inner ear will heal themselves; but they can break off entirely causing permanent damage to your hearing. It is rare for people to get permanent ear damage from attending concerts. It normally takes extended exposure to loud noises to cause permanent damage.
So, how do you know if you are exposing your ears to something too loud? If you are within three feet of someone and they can’t hear you talking unless you raise your voice; then the noise level in the environment is too loud. Sounds louder then 110 decibels will damage your hearing. It is recommended that you not expose your ears to a noise level over 85 decibels which is roughly the sound of a lawn mower.