Hearing A–Z

Noise levels at music festivals can reach 110 decibels or more. That’s like standing next to a jackhammer drilling into concrete.

Damage to hearing cannot be reversed.

Spending too long listening to loud music can cause permanent damage to your ears, resulting in problems such as tinnitus and hearing loss.

You may experience dullness of hearing or ringing in the ears after listening to loud music.

These are the first signs of hearing damage, The next morning or a couple of days later, your hearing may gradually return to normal but over time, with continued exposure, there can be permanent damage.

The risk of damage to hearing is based on how loud the music is and how long you listen to it.

If you can’t talk to someone two metres away without shouting, the noise level could be damaging.

The dangers to hearing are just as serious in an indoor nightclub or gymnasium.

Using earplugs

Wear earplugs for music, standing away from the speakers and taking regular breaks from the loudest areas.

Most earplugs work by reducing the noise level that reaches your ear. This means you can still hear the music the way it is, but at a lower volume.

If you think you’ve toughened up your ears to loud music or become used to loud music, it’s possible you have already suffered some damage.


Tinnitus causes people to hear constant sounds in one ear, both ears or in their head. It can cause stress and anxiety.

Download a printable version of the fact sheet.