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Whether it’s a concert you’ve been waiting to attend, or you were invited to one last minute, be prepared for the noises that your ears will be exposed to. If you leave the concert with a temporary ringing in your ear, the damage done to your inner ear system can cause additional difficulties in the future. Here is what you can do to protect your hearing the next time you are at a concert.

1. Don’t Stand Too Close to the Speakers

This tip doesn’t require much of an explanation. Speakers can reach up to 120+ dB while safe sound levels for our ears cap out at about 85 dB. Your discomfort from being so close to the speaker may make you wish you could move. Consider the permanent damage you could be doing to your hearing and make an effort to move at least 10 feet (3m) away from the speaker.

2. Take Breaks from the Noise When/If You Can

Does the concert have an intermission? If you can, go somewhere quiet for a bit to give your ears a break. If you’re with someone and are concerned about losing your spot, take turns leaving so each of you gets a chance to give your ears a break without the worry of losing your view.

3. Don’t Shout Your Conversations!

One of the worst things you can do in the midst of loud noises is add to that noise! Opt to text whoever you’re with instead.

4. Limit Your Alcohol Consumption

Limiting your alcohol consumption will allow you to stay aware of your surroundings. Alcohol can desensitize our sensory experiences and make it harder for us to recognize when we are in dangerously loud environments.

5. Give Your Ears a Break after Exposure to Loud Music

If you can, avoid loud settings for 24 hours after your concert to give your ears a chance to rest and recover.

You should also consider investing in a good pair of earplugs. Earplugs can serve as a backup plan if one of these tips slip your mind. Protect your hearing at every concert and you’ll continue to enjoy the music as much as you did the first time!

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