Can you hear me now? Maybe not if you attended a music festival and didn’t wear earplugs, used alcohol or drugs while there, and are male.
Individuals in these categories were more likely to experience temporary hearing loss after a concert, according to a small but intriguing study from the Netherlands.
“During the past two decades, the prevalence of hearing loss among young people has increased, partly owing to the increasing popularity of visiting music concerts, clubs and festivals,” researchers wrote the journal JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery.
To investigate contributing factors to noise-induced hearing at music fests, investigators analyzed data drawn from a 4.5-hour music festival in Amsterdam.
Study participants, who included 18 men and 33 women with an average age of 27, were given questionnaires before and after the event.
Subjects were asked about behavior, hearing and tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. Not using earplugs was the most important factor for temporary heading loss, followed by alcohol and drug use during the festival and being male.
“To date, factors associated with noise-induced hearing loss at music festivals have not yet been analyzed in a single comprehensive data set,” authors write. “In addition, little is known about the hearing loss–associated behavior of music festival attendees.
“Considering these factors,” the added, “physicians could raise more awareness about the combined risk of attending music festivals.”