Less hearing damage by wearing ear plugs during festivals

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“The risk of hearing damage after a music festival can be reduced by wearing hearing protection. Temporary hearing loss occurred five times more with visitors who did not wear ear plugs than with people who did.”

That is the conclusion of scientists of UMC Utrecht, who, together with MTV Benelux and Van Boxtel hearing shops, performed research at a music festival in Amsterdam.



Visitors without ear plugs suffer significantly more temporary hearing loss than people who wear hearing protection. Hearing deterioration was observed in 42 percent of the group without ear plugs. Only 8 percent of people wearing ear plugs suffered the same.

Temporary hearing loss following the festival was 5.3 times higher for people not wearing ear plugs. Additionally, subjects without ear plugs suffered from tinnitus more often: 38 percent versus 12 percent.

Social Issue

According to lead-researcher Wilko Grolman of UMC Utrecht, temporary hearing loss through festival visits is a ‘socially relevant medical problem.’ Unfortunately, only a few festivalgoers currently use ear plugs. With this new knowledge, we can better motivate them to use ear plugs and thereby we can prevent hearing damage.

Earlier research demonstrated that repeated exposure to noise can lead to permanent hearing damage. The number of people with permanent hearing damage has been growing for years, especially among children and youth.

Over 800,000 Dutch people have hearing problems.