Tinnitus: A Music-Lover's Worst Nightmare

At one point or another, we’ve all experienced a feeling of ringing in the ears. Whether it’s from working construction, or attending loud concerts, this sensation (if experienced enough times) could be a sign of  an even bigger problem in the future; hearing loss. According to the Mayo Clinic, Tinnitus; or a ringing in the ears, affects 15-20% of people. “…Tinnitus isn't a condition itself — it's a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder…”  

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In the music community more specifically, there are countless concert goers and musicians who tend not to wear any ear protection whatsoever. This might be due to the fact that tinnitus is considered by most people to be only something that is temporary, and won’t cause any damage. When it really comes down to it, there are several reasons why a person may choose not to wear earplugs to a show. They might think they will look weird, or that they won’t be able to hear the music played by an artist they paid good money to see. For these people, there are actual options out there that are more discreet than the giant orange ones you can pick up at any local drugstore. Not only do these earplugs not draw attention to your ears, but they also don’t muffle the sound of the performance, but rather lower the decibels to a more comfortable level. Recently, NPR compiled a list of their top rated earplugs, specifically for concert going. Among the top of the list were brands like LiveMus!c HearSafe Ear Plugs, EarPeace, and Etymotic ER 20xs. Some other companies you should definitely make sure to check out if you’re a musician, concert junkie, or live music photographer who wants to protect their hearing are: Eargasm Earplugs, Downbeats, or Earasers.