Home Health & Wellness Tinnitus-Suffering Concert Fanatic Swears That Wearing Earplugs Has “Changed Her Life for the Better”

Tinnitus-Suffering Concert Fanatic Swears That Wearing Earplugs Has “Changed Her Life for the Better”

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Amy Wooller, 22, suffers from tinnitus but hasn’t let it stop her from doing what she loves, which is listening to music.

From Taylor Swift to Dua Lipa, the avid concertgoer loves the eccentric atmosphere and buzz of the crowd while listening to her favourite artists live, but she knew she had to find a solution to stop her condition from worsening.

Speaking exclusively to The Hearing Care Partnership, Amy spoke about how wearing earplugs to every concert she has attended has protected her hearing health.

“As someone who has attended over 50 live music events and also suffers from mild tinnitus, it felt really important to me to protect my hearing from getting any worse while still being able to enjoy what I love doing,” says Amy. “I self-diagnosed myself early, as before I started using earplugs, my ears used to feel super sensitive, and there were a handful of times in particular where my ears had significant ringing after shows that wouldn’t go away, but last year, I experienced ringing in my ears like never before, and I knew I had to do something about it. As well as this, seeing other people post on social media about the importance of earplugs inspired me to make this change as soon as I could.” 

In doing further research on the different types of earplugs, Amy wanted to find ones that provided a good level of protection that wouldn’t affect her listening experience.

“I have been using foam earplugs for the moment, and I find that foam earplugs give you a good level of protection without stopping you from hearing the artist. If anything, their vocals are clearer because the bass is drowned out more. But having said that, the bass remains sufficiently loud with earplugs in, and I don’t think it affects the performance. Like anything, it can take getting used to, but now I can’t imagine not wearing earplugs to a live music event. I’ve had a successful experience so far because it’s prevented my hearing from getting worse.”

With there being a prevalent stigma around wearing hearing protection, Amy speaks on why she thinks this topic is something that should be talked about more amongst Gen Z.

“I definitely think wearing earplugs should be more normalised. It’s not spoken about enough, especially by young people, and this is the age category where we honestly need them the most! There are so many loud events that you are exposed to as a young person, and I don’t think people realise just how much harm can occur to your hearing within such a short space of time.” 

Amy’s biggest piece of advice to those considering wearing earplugs to their next gig? “To any person out there who attends live music events or someone who is already considering wearing earplugs but hasn’t done so yet, I cannot recommend wearing them more. I think a lot of people don’t realise that wearing earplugs doesn’t mean you block out sound entirely. In the long run, your ears will thank you for looking after them. Earplugs allow me to enjoy live music without my ears feeling super sensitive, sore, or overstimulated. You don’t want to be hard of hearing in your twenties when there are preventable measures available that can protect you while still living your life.” 

“I know that a fear of being judged for wearing earplugs can hold you back, but honestly, you have to weigh up your options. Would you rather pretend you’re too cool for earplugs, be hard of hearing early, and deteriorate your quality of life? Or would you rather wear little things in your ears that people don’t even really pay attention to or can see and not damage your hearing as early on? At the end of the day, you’re looking after your health, and that is just the most important thing, and you shouldn’t let anyone stop you from doing so.”

While wearing hearing protection is ultimately the best way to protect yourself from loud music at a concert, Ashish Shah, Audiologist at The Hearing Care Partnership, has shed light on what type of hearing protection will provide the best level of safety: “Although shelf silicone or foam hearing protection do offer some sort of protection, the best option will always be custom made hearing protection that is moulded to fit your ears. They also come with a noise filter, which will not only reduce the level of noise to a much safer level but also won’t affect the quality of music you are listening to.”

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