Plug it in: Dancing & Your Hearing, and How to Protect It.
Do you ever get ringing in your ears after a concert or a dance event? This is a sign that the music was damaging your hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss is *permanent*. You cannot get back what sensitivity you lose when in loud places. If you want to be able to hear your grandchildren, you need to start protecting your hearing now.
Normal hearing ranges from 0 to 20 decibels (dB). In most of the dance events and socials I’ve been to I’ve experienced noise level of around 95-100 dB. At this level, hearing loss can begin as little as after 15 minutes of exposure, and remember what I said before? THERE ARE NO CURES (yet). Considering most dance socials lasts around 2-3 hours, and considerably longer for weekend events, it would be wise for people to take precautions.
The easiest way to protect your hearing are ear plugs. This is the most effective protection for your hearing. There are a wide variety of ear plugs, from the 100-200 baht disposable earplugs from Boots, 500-700 baht reusable concert earplugs, all the way up to 6,000-10,000 baht custom-fitted ear plugs. The cheap foam ear plugs are ok, but they tend to block out a lot more of the high frequencies and can leave the music sound muddled. However, having a few of these at the bottom of your bag is quite handy for unexpected noise.
The ones I would recommend for most people are the 500 baht concert earplugs. They are called Westone/Etymotic/Elacin ER-20 (the name changes depending on the market – but all three names are ‘real’). These can be a better value than the foam ones as they last a lot longer, I had a pair that lasted 3 years. The ER-20s and other ear plugs of this type have special filters in them so that rather than blocking out noise, they reduce noise by about 20 decibels. To give you an idea of what that is like, its like reducing the noise of a concert to the level of city traffic. The best part of these is that quieter noises aren’t reduced as much as louder noise, so you can still talk to people while wearing them!
You don’t need the expensive custom-fitted ones unless you are expecting to be wearing them more than 3-4 hours at a time on a regular basis. The custom ones don’t sound any better or make you safer, the expensiveness entirely comes from how incredibly comfortable they are – especially for people like me who have weird ears.
So, please. Protect your hearing – I’ve got a link to a shop that I found that sells ER-20s. If you don’t like buying online, you can go to Tank Store (the shop that sells high end knives and outdoor equivalent) at Central World or Emporium and get yourself a pair of Sure-Fire earplugs, they are also good.
Article by Kunnaya
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