Coming out of a night club at 6.00am in the morning with a groggy head and ringing ears is many people’s worst nightmare, but for ardent clubbers, this is a weekly labour of love. Some of London’s nightclubs will continue well into breakfast time, smashing out hits while the rest of the world sits down to their muesli. And then there’s Ibiza; the World’s number one club land location which won’t stop for sleep all summer.
Such a hedonistic lifestyle is every medical practitioner’s nightmare: although young clubbers may brush off the potential for damage, the risk of developing hearing problems from clubbing is very real.
The average night club sound range is anywhere from 100db, deemed a safe level of noise for up to two hours, to 115db, considered safe for only up to 15 minutes. The longer the time exposure, the higher the risk of causing hearing damage.
Low-level damage will frequently go unnoticed, appearing cumulatively as your club career progresses or compounded by natural hearing deterioration from old age. If your ears are still ringing more than two days after a hard night out, you have most probably damaged your hearing permanently.
Frequent clubbers may experience hearing problems such as tinnitus if they continue to listen to loud music without adequate protection:
"Intense sound can cause changes to the hearing system and can then lead to tinnitus. Loud music is fun but we must be careful too," said David Baguley, consultant clinical scientist at Cambridge University Hospitals and vice chairman of the British Tinnitus Association.
With the risk of damaging your hearing high, it is a very good idea to take precautions. The longer and closer you stand to speaker systems, the greater the risk; we recommend that you take regular breaks from the dance floor and stand far enough away to avoid damage.
If you are a regular clubber, spending several nights a week in loud nightclub environments, it is also a very good idea to invest in some earplugs. The guide below will help you identify the best solution:
ProGuard Noizezz earplugs provide a high-quality solution as each pack contains 4 sizes for the perfect fit in both ears. These combine comfort, a low profile with a 24 dB noise reduction, and are fully re-usable.
Alpine PartyPlug earplugs are a very good value solution designed specifically for clubbing, concert and festival-going. Fully re-usable and washable in warm soapy water, these will survive the heaviest of nights out, providing an average noise reduction rating of 26dB.
Mack's High Fidelity Hear Plugs are ideal for all music lovers, allowing you to hear music clearly while safely reducing volume levels. They are comfortable to wear and are the ideal protection for festivals, concerts and gigs.
Mack's Safe Sound Ultra earplugs provide an excellent value, semi-disposable format, with seven pairs in each box. If you are afraid of losing your earplugs on a night out, this value-for-money solution means they are easily replaceable; they also have a reduction rating of 29dB.