Intensity of Sound

What are the best ways to protect one’s hearing at loud rock concerts?

The first protection against damage to the cilia is to increase the distance from your ears to the speakers. In plain English, the farther away one is from the speakers, the lower the intensity of the sound. By simply doubling the distance, the intensity becomes one fourth of what it was originally. That can work in open areas where the sound can spread, but in arenas or halls the sound can reflect off the ceilings and walls and does not decrease with distance.

The second method of protecting one’s ears is to dampen the sound waves as they enter the ear. Many musicians, both rock and classical, to avoid gradual hearing loss, now use earplugs to decrease the amplitude of the wave entering the ear. The fluid in the cochlea transfers less energy to the cilia than if the listener were wearing no hearing protection.

Loud music from live concerts can cause hearing loss over time by damaging the cilia within the ear. Standing or sitting farther back from speakers can help prevent harm, while musicians themselves often wear earplugs.

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