The iconic rock band AC/DC was all set to play a show in Atlanta on March 8 as part of the US leg of their world tour, Rock or Bust. With almost no warning, the band postponed 10 concerts in March and April because lead singer Brian Johnson is experiencing hearing loss. While the band hopes to reschedule the concert dates for later this year, Johnson may not be performing, and AC/DC may be joined by a guest singer. Johnson, who has been a member of the band since 1980, is only 68 years old. Doctors warned that if he did not stop touring immediately, Johnson could sustain permanent hearing loss!
Noise Induced Hearing Loss
AC/DC is known for being among the loudest rock bands in the world. Their concerts are powerful, leaving you with ringing ears or a feeling that all sounds around you are muffled. These are the first warning signs of noise induced hearing loss, or hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises. Hearing loss can happen gradually, from frequent exposure to loud sounds. Hearing is damaged when you are exposed to sounds louder than 85 decibels (dB) for prolonged periods of time. Some noise induced damage can even be instant, from a single, extremely loud sound like a gunshot or alarm. These loud sounds kill delicate cells in the inner ear, resulting in permanent hearing loss.
Examples of loud noises are shop tools that are around 90dB, a chainsaw which is 100dB, and rock concerts that are usually at least 115dB. At this level, even 15 minutes of exposure can result in serious damage! Many people are at risk of hearing loss in their workplace as well as through leisure activities. Musicians, miners, construction or factory workers, police and emergency response teams, and those who work in agriculture or transportation are at great risk. If your enjoy concerts and other loud activities, you are at risk for hearing loss.
Act Now to Protect Your Hearing
Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. If you think you’ve gotten used to the loud noises around you, it is probably because you have already sustained damage. Not exposing yourself to loud noises is the best prevention. Of course that’s often just not possible because the machinery at work is noisy, or the AC/DC concert is too amazing to miss. The solution is hearing protection.
From ear plugs to ear muffs or even custom made hearing protection made especially for your needs, there is no excuse to expose yourself to loud sounds without protecting your ears. With even mild or moderate hearing loss, you can’t understand conversation, appreciate music, or get rid of the permanent ringing in the ears. If you think you’ve been exposed to loud noise, or are at risk from work and leisure activities, get your hearing tested! Educate yourself on noise induced hearing loss and act now to save your hearing. Once lost, your hearing is gone forever, so don’t wait until it’s too late.