May 27 2016 | 0 comments
Pete Townshend. Eric Clapton. Ozzy Osbourne. Alex Van Halen.
For many Baby Boomers, these artists epitomize rock music played at stunningly loud volumes in front of adoring crowds worldwide.
But as they’ve aged, they also represent another phenomenon: all these best-selling musicians now suffer from hearing loss linked to long hours in front of booming amps.
Some artists have been so stricken by hearing complications that they have had to curtail recent performances, such as AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson, who stepped away from touring this year after doctors warned him that his partial hearing loss could progress to complete deafness while on tour.
And hearing loss is not just a risk for the bands who take the stage. Increasingly, Baby Boomers who grew up attending concerts pressed up against Fender amps and then switched to Walkmans, portable CD players, and iPods later in life are beginning to feel the effects of years of noise exposure.
In fact, virtually every Boomer suffers from some degree of hearing loss with the severity increasing as they age. It’s estimated that 1 out of every 3 people above age 65 suffers from hearing loss issues, while a survey from the EAR Foundation found that more than 50 percent of the Baby Boomers suffering from hearing loss blame it on noise exposure, including loud music.
So why are loud concerts so hard on our hearing?
Doctors have found that continued exposure to louder-than-normal sounds actually causes a so-called “temporary shift” in hearing, meaning the typical audience member’s hearing ability drops after exposure to loud music.
For most concertgoers, the effect is temporary and their hearing recovers. But after continual exposure to loud sound, the shift can become permanent.
Earlier this year, a group of researchers in the Netherlands studied two groups of attendees to an outdoor concert, one group who wore earplugs during the concert and another who listened without any protection.
The results were clear: only 8 percent of people in the group wearing earplugs experienced temporary hearing loss, while 42 percent of the unprotected group did.
That’s because rock concert sound levels can rise above 120 decibels, louder than the roar of a subway car or the engine of a motorcycle or a chainsaw. Doctors consider any sound louder than 85 decibels to be harmful to hearing and caution that the louder the sound, the more damage can be caused by even short periods of exposure.
But there’s still good news for anyone who struggles with hearing loss: advancements in hearing aid technology have made it easier than ever for Baby Boomers to restore their listening experience.
Increasingly, hearing aids are designed to provide the best possible listening experience for music aficionados. At Embrace, our hearing aids feature:
Up to 20 processing channels: All of our hearing aids are equipped with multiple channels to process sound, meaning you have a richer and more nuanced listening experience than using older models. A higher number of channels also allows for greater customization of your individual listening profile. Our audiology team starts with your hearing test and then further fine-tune the way you hear the world for the best possible experience.
Bluetooth: With Bluetooth compatibility, Embrace Hearing aids can connect directly to your smartphone, music player, or TV so you can hear music beamed directly to your ears the way it was intended.
Discreet size: Because all Embrace models are designed to be ultra-small, you’ll feel comfortable wearing your hearing aids everywhere, even to busy concerts and performances.
And by shopping online, you access the highest-quality technology at the lowest prices in the industry while sacrificing none of the customer service you deserve.
Don’t leave your rock n’ roll days behind just yet—consider how hearing aids can help you recapture the sound you love.
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