Beware of High Intensity Music at Coachella
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is an annual music and arts festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, located in the Colorado Desert. The event features musical artists from many genres of music, including rock, indie, hip hop, and electronic dance music, as well as art installations and sculptures. Across the grounds, several stages continuously host live music. Last year, more than 55, 000 people participated.
This year the big news is about Beyonce pulling out of the festival because of the possible noise exposure risk to her unborn twins. Recent studies of prenatal noise exposure analyzed more than 1.4 million births in Sweden (published in 2016 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives). Findings among women in a workplace with sound levels above 85 decibels indicated that children exposed in utero were slightly more likely to suffer impaired hearing than children born to mothers whose workplaces measured below 75 decibels. From an Audiology standpoint, protecting the hearing of her unborn children was a wise decision.
As music lovers attend this year’s event held over 2 weekends in April, Audiologists are trying to get the word out about hearing protection.
The noise levels at Coachella will exceed the 85 decibel level and may go up as loud as 120 decibels. Exposure to noise levels like this can create an irreversible noise induced hearing loss. Audiologists would encourage anyone attending the festival to wear hearing protection. Either disposable one-size-fits-all protection that can be purchased in most drugstores or a more effective solution would be to make custom molded hearing protection or musician plugs. These can be made by your Audiologist; silicone putty is inserted into the ear to create a mold that will seal the ear. The density of the material can provide significant attenuation. If there is a concern that the nuances of music will be dulled, special musician plugs with filters that allow different frequencies to pass can also be customized.
Protect your hearing while enjoying great music. You can have both; but if you don’t protect your hearing , listening to music will not be the enjoyable experience you once remembered.