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Tommy, Can You Hear Me?

Majority of concert-goers aware of risk of hearing damage, study finds

Earplugs should be given out at rock concerts and sound levels reduced to minimize the risk of hearing loss for concert attendees, a new U of T study recommends.

The study, published in Canadian Journal of Public Health, looked at whether concert-goers perceive a risk of hearing damage from the loud music at concerts and whether they use hearing protection at these venues. The study revealed that although 74 per cent of attendees thought it was likely or very likely that noise levels at music concerts could damage their hearing, 80 per cent said they never wore hearing protection at such events.

“Over 40 per cent of respondents said they would be willing to use hearing protection if it was provided at the concerts,” says U of T medical student Isaac Bogoch, who initiated the research with Dr. Ron House, a professor of public health sciences and medicine at U of T.

To identify attendees’ views, the research team distributed questionnaires at four rock concerts in Toronto; the 204 questionnaires that were completed represented a 75 per cent response rate. Bogoch, who is now in his final year of medical studies, notes the study’s recommendations allow concert attendees to have a great time while protecting their hearing.

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