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Possible permanent hearing loss from concert?

John Gourley exti047 at csc.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Aug 1 06:26:53 EST 1995

In article <drogers-3007951319570001 at ip035.lax.primenet.com>, drogers at primenet.com (David D. Rogers) writes:
> I went to a rock concert that took place between Thrusday night/Friday
> morning. Over the various acts, I estimate the total combined length of
> the music was around 3 1/2 hours, and while I don't know what the level of
> intensity was, it was louder than any concert I've been to in recent


It is true that individual susceptibility to noise induced hearing loss
is not fully understood, and that one episode of sustained exposure to
loud noise/music can cause permanent hearing loss.  For a peroid of
3 1/2 hours, you would be looking at a noise level in the ball park
of 91dBAor louder to represent a significant risk.

Most likely what you are experiencing is temporary threshold shift (TTS),
which can take up to 7 days to fully recover from.  The ears susceptibility
to niose induced hearing loss is, theoretically, related to the amount
of continuous energy to which they are exposed - in a concert-like
situation, the periods of relative silence between songs, bands setting
up, etc, give the ear a chance to "recover", thereby reducing the risk of
permanent damage.

Unsurprisingly, repeated experinces of TTS are thought to led to permanent
damage.  Hopefully your left ear will recover fully this time, but
give it a few days before you get it checked out by an audiolgist - and
don't forget your ear plugs next time!

Rock On,

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