Festivals and tinnitus

Author thumbnail Charlotte Jones  |  Published 25 May 2023  | Updated 29 June 2023  | 4 mins read

People walking with backpacks.

June is a BIG month for festivals, and if you are as excited as we are, you will already be digging out your wellies, grabbing your sleeping bags and getting ready to rock! 

But with every festival comes that dreaded Monday morning feeling, waking up after an amazing weekend of live music, in a cold, damp tent. You’re tired, hungry and your head is ringing…

Don’t let tinnitus worsen your post-festival blues. Read on to find out more!

Banner where we can read 'Rinsing, Hissing, Buzzing, Whistling, Roaring'.

What is tinnitus?

Have you ever experienced an annoying buzzing or ringing sound in your ears without any source? Well, then that would be tinnitus. To put it simply, tinnitus is the term used to describe the notion of hearing sounds without an external source.

Tinnitus can be experienced in a number of ways: sometimes it could sound like it’s in one ear, both ears or even in your head. For some, the symptoms come and go, whilst others experience tinnitus for extended periods.

Can loud music trigger tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be triggered by a number of factors, so it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint the exact cause. We do know however that excessive noise levels, such as those experienced at festivals, are linked to tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss

Our ears are precious and contain thousands of microscopic hair cells which play a vital role in our hearing, helping our ears transform sound waves into electrical signals for our brains. When these hair cells are exposed to sounds over 85dB, they are at risk of becoming damaged. Typically, live music is often well above this safe threshold; in fact, the average gig can easily exceed up to a whopping 110dB – so prolonged exposure will certainly take its toll.

There is a lot of research which supports the links between overexposure to loud noise and tinnitus when our hair cells become damaged.

Stress, lack of sleep and even alcohol consumption are all suggested to have links to tinnitus, although there is limited research to prove this definitively. [1]


How to prepare for a festival when you have tinnitus

Whether you already experience tinnitus or just want to avoid it, here are our top tips to help you get festival ready!

Foam Ear Plugs.

Choose the right hearing protection

The best thing you can do to prevent tinnitus (and protect your hearing) as a result of sound exposure is to invest in some hearing protection. These days, hearing protection is available in a variety of forms, from foam earplugs all the way to custom solutions. Whilst foam ear plugs are readily available in most pharmacies or large supermarkets, they don’t provide much protection (although they are better than no ear plugs at all). For regular gig-goers, we would always recommend custom protection. Not only are these custom-moulded to your ears, but they can provide a significant amount of protection against those decibels. 

Give yourself regular breaks

We know just how full-on some festivals can be, so one of our top recommendations would be to take regular breaks away from the music, whether that’s queuing up for a kebab, or heading back to the campsite for a bit of a power nap between acts. This break will give your ears a chance to recover, even if it is just minutes every hour. We’d also recommend that you stay away from any large speakers or sound systems.


Consult a hearing care professional

If, after a festival or live music event you have noticed symptoms of tinnitus that just won’t go away, it’s important you seek out guidance from an audiologist or healthcare provider. Not only will they be able to suggest methods for managing your tinnitus, but they can recommend treatments for any underlying conditions that could also be a contributing factor to your tinnitus. (e.g.. ear wax build-up or hearing loss).

Concerned about tinnitus? Talk to us today 

If you are concerned about tinnitus, want to find out how you can manage it or simply want to protect your hearing, come and talk to us today. We have audiologists up and down the country ready and waiting to help you. 

To book an appointment, you can call our Dedicated Patient Support Team on 0800 52 00 546, or book an appointment online.