Should I Go to a Rock Concert?

Discussion in 'Support' started by david pulido, Oct 6, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. david pulido

      david pulido Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8/15
      I have a rock concert coming up with my favorite band but im scared that if i go my t could get worse. I have -32 decible foam ear plugs but would that be enough?
       
    2. Robert44

      Robert44 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert
      I'm done with concerts
       
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    3. Bertman
      No Mood

      Bertman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      concert
      Personally I wouldn't risk it, I've given myself way to many scares and increases that I wouldn't find it worth it. But if you do go, stay as far away from speakers as possible and make sure that you are inserting your ear plugs correctly. Foam ones can be hit or miss sometimes with how well they seal. Also, take breaks from the concert if possible. Some people can go to concerts with tinnitus wearing earplugs and it's fine while others go and end up getting an increase in T. You just have to weigh the pros and cons for yourself and decide
       
    4. ruben ruiz

      ruben ruiz Member

      Location:
      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I believe it was meds and stress
      Are you freaking crazy. Risk more t and h to hear overly loud music! no way!
       
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    5. CarloZ

      CarloZ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      September 3, 2015
      I really wouldn't man. I have moderate tinnitus compared to many people on this forum and even I wouldn't risk it.
       
    6. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      Me too.
       
    7. Zechariah

      Zechariah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      It depends, here in Finland pretty much every concert is limited ~95 - 105 dB so I'm fine with 33db ear plugs. But I don't know where you live so I can't tell what are the policies there. If the concerts there are like 115dB, then you would need double protection (muffs and plugs) which can reach around 40db protection. Additionally if the concert is held outside you can pick a spot where the sound isn't too loud. With these cautions I'd say you can go to a concert without the fear T getting worse.
       
    8. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yeah great idea! Go risk it!!! Playing Russian roulette with your ears is awesome fun!!!
       
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    9. noisebox
      Loved

      noisebox Member

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      West End show. Came back 2015 vitamin D overdose prescribed
      Me personally, no way. I have 20bd custom plugs and the my car still aggrevates mine. Not worth it.
       
    10. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      Here is how I think about this. You don't have to think the same way, it is just one perspective. Making a decision like this is difficult because there is an element of uncertainty - however small - about the outcome. But it might help to think about some possible outcomes.

      If you go to the concert let's optimistically say there is a 99% chance of you having a fantastic time. The band sounds awesome, the beer tastes great, your friends are all happy and on good form. You feel part of a stimulating cultural event and will carry happy memories of it for a year or two until time dulls your recollection. Maybe ten years down the line you happen across your old concert ticket and feel glad you went and lived your life to the full. Of course there is a 1% chance the band will play badly, the sound mix will be shite, you see your ex-girl/boyfriend cop off with the bass player... or something else happens and it is all a bit disappointing. But, hey, that's only 1%, so you aren't too worried and will probably have a blast. For one night.

      But, there is also - let's guess - a 3% chance that despite your earplugs bone conduction is sufficient that your tinnitus worsens. It happens. Not all the time, but that's why we're giving it a low chance. Maybe I'm a pessimist - lets call it 1% instead. You go through a few weeks of anxiety and sleeplessness as your brain struggles to accept the new sounds buzzing around inside it. You have an absolutely horrible time. For quite a few nights. And days. Of course, your work suffers and possibly your relationship too. But gradually you adjust to the new tinnitus sounds you have and after a few months you find you can smile again and start to enjoy life once more. You are basically OK. Although when you try to listen to your favourite band it sort of sucks that there is this sheet of hissing noise between you and the music, and you never again feel quite so emotionally connected to it, never feel quite so immersed in the intense visceral experience that band worked hard to create on their records. Maybe over time you stop following music quite so enthusiastically. Your record collection stops growing. You discover you have an interest in crochet or watching sitcoms on TV instead. Or both, although you do have to turn the volume up a bit in order to make sense of the dialogue (it must be 'cos you're concentrating so hard on getting your slip stitch right.)

      Let's not talk too much about the really pessimistic 0.001% scenario where your tinnitus gets so loud that habituation is more elusive and you spend several years just trying to process the injustice of what happened to you, while battling day-to-day against the darkest of thoughts. That probably won't happen. It sort of might, but it very probably won't. You could get knocked over crossing a road, right?

      Now my scenarios are obviously complete fantasy (not related to me at all), and my percentage chances are wild stabs in the dark. But hopefully it wasn't too unhelpful to follow my thinking. My point is that there is no certainty... think carefully about choices and possible consequences. The odds are probably in favour of it being safe, but if you are unlucky then the negative consequences might be much, much bigger than the good time you might have, and might affect you every day for a very, very long time. There is no time machine to put things right.

      Sorry for being so long-winded and for my c**p sense of humour. I guess I'm in an odd mood today from not getting much sleep last night, and from a nasty spike I've been having. I'm trying to make explicit what the subtext is when this topic is debated, since it crops up a bit.

      Finally, I wanted to make this observation: it is often human nature to believe what we want to believe - at least until this is proved wrong (and sometimes even afterwards). Believing what we want to believe feels good so we tend to go that way instinctively in many situations. I knew this in theory from reading psychology, but it was tinnitus that taught me what it really means and how dangerous that tendency can be.
       
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    11. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      Hey, I just read what I wrote again, and since the tone of it is p'raps a bit off I wanted to make clear I mean no offense. I just want you to be safe. (y)
       
    12. Lorenzo74
      Mellow

      Lorenzo74 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Hey @dboy !

      I relate to what you are saying...

      Only recently I went to a party and off course I wore earplugs all the time... But I keep thinking and wondering...

      "What if my T would not change by going without protections to a loud place (as to be honest my T has been very consistent since the beginning) and so I would be able to take away this constant fear about it getting worst ?"

      Where do one draw the line between rightful protection and fear of the worst (and therefore life full of limits)...

      I spoke recently with a friend of mine around 40 years old, he dj's at times and parties hard.. I ask him about T and he says yes, every night he goes out he comes home with it, it lasts for 2/3 days and then it always goes away.. he says he don't care and that I make too much of a deal of it, he says it is the attitude in life and if you don't fear something, well that something doesn't hurt you... or something like that.. :)

      I don't know man..

      Ciao !
       
    13. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      @Lorenzo74 You are right of course, there are two sides to this and hiding away from risk all the time is not healthy for anyone. I tried not to be too one-sided in my post, but I guess my feelings came through pretty strong.

      Without wishing to hijack @david pulido's thread, let me unburden myself of something. Having accepted that my own enjoyment of music is now compromised (much as I described above) I decided a few months ago to develop an interest in photography. I wanted to try to reignite some creative interest and thought this might help me rediscover some enthusiasm for actually living. So I sold some stuff on ebay and got myself a decent old secondhand dslr. I started reading and practising, with mixed results.

      About 5 weeks ago, I was on the rocky beach near where I live, where a river (more like a stream) comes out. The water flows over the stones and down to the sea. I got into taking long exposure photos of the moving water as the sun went down, and spent between an hour and an hour and a half doing this. I was kind of 'in the zone' if you know what I mean - where you get so caught up in the intricacies of what you are doing that you kind of lose awareness. At one point I remember stopping and thinking to myself how loud the sound of the water was rushing around and between all these rocks. I asked myself whether I needed to be worried, and then dismissed the idea. It was noisy, but it was a lovely natural sound, and I remembered telling Dr Nagler in an argument that Niagara Falls at its loudest point was 95db. There was no way this little river/stream about 10 feet across would be anywhere near that. So I carried on what I was doing, and had a bloody good time too.

      The next morning when I went to the bathroom and flushed the toilet the noise of the flush was painfully loud, like it was last time I had hearing damage. I was a bit worried, but my t was not louder. Over the next few days though, the sensitivity to noise went away and my t got much worse - louder and more high pitched. It has been up and down since then, seems to be settling a bit now, but still quite a bit louder and more intense than it was. These weeks I've been trying to tell myself it is just a spike, but this is getting harder to do and I am coming to terms with the idea that I might have damaged my hearing further, and made my tinnitus worse just by spending 60-90 minutes photographing a river. I wish I had the time machine, but there is no time machine. I just gotta kick myself mentally, bear the consequences, and be more careful next time. And from what I gather even before this happened I was one of the more careful people on Tinnitus Talk. But I got caught up in the moment, and I thought it would be OK - such an easy thing to do.

      So I guess my response to david pulido was part of my own mental processing of this event. I hope it wasn't too negative. Really, like I said, I just wanted to make explicit what the risks were, despite there possibly being quite a small chance of the worst happening. :confused:
       
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    14. Lorenzo74
      Mellow

      Lorenzo74 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Hey @dboy

      Thanks for sharing.. I think it's important to hear different experiences so others can make their minds up more informed on certain situations..

      Don't punish yourself, if you were brave enough to give it a go and face your fear, you will be brave enough to deal with this until it has to last..

      Really hope it will subside soon dboy..

      take care !
       
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    15. Lloyd Carter
      Wishful

      Lloyd Carter Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced Trauma
      Don't stand near the speakers, bring a decibel reader, bring a good pair of ear plugs (and know how to properly insert them). If it isn't louder than 100db where you're standing and you have those plugs shoved in, you should be okay! Be scientific about it. There's always a risk. Every time you get into a car, you could get in an accident and wake up with worse T! But I'm sure you aren't avoiding those!
       
    16. walkthroughwalls

      walkthroughwalls Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      possibly noise
      I agree. Most concerts over here are limited to 103dB, which should be pretty safe to go to with earplugs. What is your favorite band? Do they play loud? Does the venue limit the SPL's?

      I'm considering going to Godspeed You! Black Emperor soon myself.
       
    17. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Hey dboy, I constantly expose myself to noise, like all the time, I can't seem to get away from it. It's either people being really noisy, going out to eat, dogs barking at my dog, a dropped dish etc My ears always seem to be getting worse, my T is always through the roof. I don't know how you stay out of noise? Do you think it was the length of time you exposed yourself? Do sudden bangs cause spikes as well? I'm not very good at judging how loud my T is as it's always screaming but I get the same as you, even flushing the toilet is too loud after I have been in any moderate noise the day before. I find I get out and do things one day, the next day my ears are so sore I don't want to get out of bed. I don't know how to avoid this? I guess wear ear plugs more? Even going out walking here in Calgary, there is construction on every block it seems, very frustrating. I guess the winter will be quieter. It's hard to believe that something like a river flowing can damage our ears but I don't dismiss it, I try and ignore the pain and move on, this method isn't working for me at all. Maybe if I was more careful and spent more time in silence my T would come down? I have no clue,

      I'm really not in tune with my T, like I say it's just always blasting away. I can tell it is getting louder month over month but day to day is hard to notice. It may be just be snowballing from the noise exposure and I can't notice small daily increases.

      I don't know man, this is more than hell for me, I can't describe how this is sucking the life out of me regardless of how hard I push back.
       
    18. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      Thanks @Lorenzo74. It has settled down a lot from what it was for several weeks, and if I am really really lucky it may still go back to what it was. I think I need to get my head round the idea it might not though.

      @Telis since my big increase two years ago mine has been mostly fairly stable. I do get quite a few spikes but was starting to get good at riding them out 'til they go back to baseline. This one feels different unfortunately. I checked the dates and it is actually six weeks today, which is nearly double my previous longest spike. I'm sorry to hear yours is so grim. The way you describe it, I don't think I could cope with that. I know what you mean though when you say it is 'sucking the life out of you' - mine does that too, despite usually being more manageable than what you describe. The irony for me is I was finally trying a real fight back against that by developing a new interest calculated to draw me away from my old obsessions with music, etc.

      I don't often get that extreme sound sensitivity. I associate it with the immediate aftermath of hearing damage as I've had it after my most damaging noise exposure as well as after stupid pharmaceutical damage. Both times for a few days and been left with worse tinnitus. I feel very lucky not to have full time hyperacusis or hugely reactive t. I get little mini spikes for a few seconds from stuff like clanking plates, and louder t for the evening after eg. a long train journey. But I know that will settle down and am really glad not to live in a city any more with all the unavoidable exposures. I'm still having trouble accepting that that river might have caused an actual permanent worsening, but the signs seem to be pointing that way at the moment.
      One of my favourite live bands ever, the way the films work with the music takes you somewhere really special. Saw them 3 times 2000-2002, including an amazing performance at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Makes me sad to say it, but even those guys couldn't tempt me now. It is kinda great to know they are back in action though. The world needs more bands/artists/whatever with that kind of integrity and commitment to telling the truth with sound.
       
    19. walkthroughwalls

      walkthroughwalls Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      possibly noise
      Yes! I saw them once before and I totally agree!
      I also loved the 'no talking to the audience', and lack of 'entertainment'... Just pure music, pure art.

      After the concert a woman who had not been at the concert asked me what band had played, as she observed the people walking out of the venue. She wondered what kind of band could attract these wildly varying age groups, clothing styles and generally 'kinds of people' :)
      The audience seemed a lot friendlier as well. No pushing, rushing your way to the front row, slamming into one-another etc.

      Now they're playing at a venue close to my home, with dB restrictions. It would've been a no-brainer if I didn't have T. But still... After some thought, I bought my ticket yesterday.
       
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    20. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      A venue with dB restrictions sounds fantastic - what are the restrictions, out of interest?

      I am a bit jealous, but I know it is not for me any more. When I had milder t I did risk seeing the Dirty Three one time, but now that I know how bad t can get...

      What a great band though, you are right, a bs free experience, something so beautiful. Reminds me a bit of hardcore punk in the late 80's and early 90's, but without the posturing and with much better music. Have a fantastic time, and send me a pm or something to tell me about it. :)
       
    21. walkthroughwalls

      walkthroughwalls Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      possibly noise
      The dB restrictions are nationwide among all big venues and festivals. It's the legally binding (I think) result of a cooperation between the government, an organisation representing all venues/festivals and a couple of 'prevent hearing loss' foundations. I have a summary here, which I'll quickly try to translate to English:

      1. The average SPL won't be above 103dB(A), measured over 15 minutes.
      2. The dB level will be measured for the entire duration of the performance.
      3. There should be affordable hearing protection available, with adequate dB reduction (17 SNR).
      4. If the SPL is higher than 96dB(A), visitors will be notified of the high SPL, the risks of hearing damage and the options to protect your hearing.
      5. Communication should be in such a way that visitors will be informed.
      6. Loudspeakers producing more than 96 dB(A) are at a safe distance from the audience as much as possible. (If possible >2 meters at 103 dB(A). If this is not possible, warning sign will be placed on the loudspeakers.
      7. All staff is informed of the SPL standards, the risks of hearing damage and the protective measures.

      Some venues hand out free earplugs near the entrance and/or restrict the volume even more, at their own initiative :)
      One report mentions that while most venues obey the dB limit, the information to visitors is mostly lacking. Which is my experience as well.
      And of course, there are also smaller venues outside of this contract. Which is why I didn't go to see Mono when they played here. I had a feeling the volume was going to be brutal... I guess we all will miss some things. I hope you're not too jealous! :)
      I'll send a pm telling you how it was!
       
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    22. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      Thanks, that sounds like a really worthwhile set of rules. Your country is progressive in so many ways. :)

      Thanks! I shall live vicariously through your experience. Have a good time for me. (y)
       
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    23. Tweaker
      Sad

      Tweaker Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      I would rather eat my shorts than go to a concert. I'm done with concerts, discos, live music. My ears are shot through and T is torturous. Coping with everyday noise at work, etc is enough for me wothout going to a rock concert. Maybe if T was mild I may contemplate it.
       
    24. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Can have a quiet concert at home with it on DVD and a beer at home ear friendly one....lots of love glynis
       
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    25. Rube
      Fine

      Rube Member Benefactor

      Location:
      U.S.A
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Would I go? Two words..........HELL MUTHA EFFIN NO!
      ok maybe 4 words. Think risk vs. reward......if your t gets worse.....will thinking that you at least got to see that band make you feel better about it?
       
    26. walkthroughwalls

      walkthroughwalls Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      possibly noise
      Hi.

      Please let me try to explain why I choose otherwise.

      Music was a huge part of my life and in many ways still is. It's often what gets me through the day and makes life worth it. The risk/reward consideration works in another way too: putting your ears at risk for one concert may not be worth it, but it's not about just one concert. If I could keep playing and going to many concerts in a safe way, that would increase my quality of life tremendously.

      I probably won't ever see My Bloody Valentine or AC/DC, but it's pretty safe to assume that I could see a band that plays at a decent (relatively low) volume while wearing earplugs.
       
    27. Peter61

      Peter61 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      I can understand you want to go out and see bands play live, but given the fact that you have T I would advise to forget about it and protect your already damaged hearing and not push your luck. Besides, there are live dvd's from most bands available that you can watch at home, where you can choose a volume that's most comfortable for you.
       
    28. Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      I continue to hit concerts. Last week I went to see Xentrix/Acid Reign. My modus operandi is always the same, carefully insert foam earplugs before entering the venue and I never stand more than halfway up.


      That show averaged around 93db from where I was standing and I felt quite safe.

      At the end of the day its a personal choice, no one can say for sure what will and won't increase your tinnitus. I could spend the rest of my life worrying about every noise I'm exposed to and not do anything or I can still do some of the things I enjoy in moderation.

      I've been averaging about one show a month now and its worked out ok.
       
    29. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      I'd take a bullet before I went to a concert.
      I don't get it - Why the super loud unhealthy volume?
      Hey, read my post, "Mega Tinnitus." That should be a good warning for you.
       
    30. John Meyers
      Artistic

      John Meyers Member

      Location:
      Chicago, IL
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      AC/DC Concert
      NO way would I go. -- I love concerts but hate Mr T even more.

      Why take the chance for it to get worse even with earplugs? -- You will maybe need to live the rest of your life with it.

      It is not like you are risking breaking your arm or something.. -- Sorry for the rant. I would be fine if I didn't intensify a concert's noise level and now I'm paying the piper..
       

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