How To Protect Your Ears, Before It’s Too Late!

Author : Mark Grossane
January 12, 2023

How To Protect Your Ears, Before It’s Too Late!

Welcome to the world of raving. Where your “weekend” can start with an event on Wednesday night and continue night after night until Sunday night. Monday morning you wake up with a headache and a ringing in your ears as you get into your car and start heading to work with your favorite techno or house playlist getting you through until you can start all over again. Sounds like a raver’s dream come true until you repeat this over and over for a few months or a year, maybe 2 and that pesky ringing does not go away.

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Hearing loss is probably one of the most serious issues facing the music community, whether a consumer or an artist it is extremely imperative to protect your ears early in your raving career. Hearing loss is not reversible people! You can take substances for years and bounce back pretty unscathed, maybe get away hitting a few all nighters without drinking adequate water however when it comes to your ears returning to normal, after you made it to the point of hearing loss, it’s not so good.

Sonic Hangovers

Just like when you down a few too many shots and get wasted, waking up with a hangover, exposing yourself to loud noise over a long period of time can cause your ears to have the same the experience as your body would.  Sonic hangovers are no joke and should be taken seriously. After all, all manuals, including your typical Sony headeset manual, tell users to keep volume at lower levels to avoid hearing damage.

Typical events with big systems can produced sounds upwards of 105 to 110 (dB) which is 30-40 (dB) higher than the advised listening level. At these high dBs only 1 hour of unprotected listening can cause lasting hearing damage. Which you might not even notice at first.

The sonic hangovers, or the muffled ringing and frequency spectrum distortion associated with a long night of raving, should be taken as a sign that your ears need a break. The ringing is actually called tinnitus and is temporary at first but can become a lifelong issue.  Dr. Voelker from USC told Forbes magazine that “The ringing in your ears is a sign of damage. Permanent damage can occur to the inner ear after exposure to one extremely loud noise or repeated exposure over time.” So when that morning after arrives be sure to not immediately start blasting music or even worse put some ear buds straight into your ear canal. This could potentially cause more damage. So giving  your ears about 24 hours to recalibrate before inflicting more should be essential .

Temporary Threshold Shift

We all have walked into a rave hearing one way and left later with a total different interpretation of  the world around us. The difference is known as a temporary threshold shift, causing your hearing to become dull and muffled. Stack enough of these shifts together and it can become a permanent thing.

The temporary loss in hearing can result in you turning the sound up to hear it more which worsens the problem. This why you should give yourself adequate time until hearing restores it self before inflicting anymore damage. That means no headphones or loud music until your body can restore itself back to status quo.

Tinnitus, or the ringing and muffled sound after ear damage has occurred, means there could be acoustic trauma within the brain which can affect the region associated with speech. This can also become a a permanent issue if continual damage is inflicted, causing slurred speech, too loud or quiet talking levels, difficulty localizing sounds, and potentially vertigo.

Tips For Protecting Your Ears 

  • Ear plugs
  • Do not stick anything in the ear canal (NO Q-TIPS)
  • Turn down the volume
  • Keep your ears dry
  • Rotate your standing within the event (DO NOT stand in the front the whole time)
  • Take a Noise Diet for 24 hours after long term exposure to ensure you return to baseline

Ear Protection

Using earplugs is the number one thing you can do to ensure your ear safety. At 6AM events we offer Downbeats a style of ear plugs that offer protection without causing you to lose the sound the of music. Normal foam earplugs just muffle the sound by plugging up the ear canal essentially cutting some of the sound out. However this is not the best method for still being able to hear how the music is actually suppose to sound.

Ear plugs like Downbeats  reduce sound relatively evenly across sound frequencies so that all sound levels come in crisp and clear, allowing you to hear just as you would want to but without experiencing Temporary Threshold Shift due to high decibel levels.

Source: Downbeats

Calling DownBeats “ear plugs” isn’t really the best description. That’s because DownBeats don’t stop sound in its tracks like a traditional foam ear plug. Instead, DownBeats filter sound, ensuring that the highest quality sounds are reaching your ears while the harsh noises and feedback are left out with the crowd.

Source: Downbeats PR


DownBeats take the sound, reduce it an overall 18 decibels, and channel it acoustically into your ears, making sure you have the optimal resonance in your ears at a sustainable level.

Types of Hearing Loss


Hearing loss affects people of all ages and can be caused by many different factors. The three basic categories of hearing loss are sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss.

 Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear or the actual hearing nerve itself becomes damaged. This loss generally occurs when some of the hair cells within the cochlea are damaged.

Sensorineural loss is the most common type of hearing loss. It can be a result of aging, exposure to loud noise, injury, disease, certain drugs or an inherited condition. This type of hearing loss is typically not medically or surgically treatable; however, many people with this type of loss find that hearing aids can be beneficial.

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss may occur very suddenly or over the course of a few days. It is imperative to see an otologist (a doctor specializing in diseases of the ear) immediately. A delay in treating this condition (two or more weeks after the symptoms first begin) will decrease the chance that medications might help improve the problem.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs in the outer or middle ear where sound waves are not able to carry all the way through to the inner ear. Sound may be blocked by earwax or a foreign object located in the ear canal; the middle ear space may be impacted with fluid, infection or a bone abnormality; or the eardrum may have been injured.

In some people, conductive hearing loss may be reversed through medical or surgical intervention. Conductive hearing loss is most common in children who may have recurrent ear infections or who insert foreign objects into their ear canal.

Mixed Hearing Loss

Sometimes people can have a combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. They may have a sensorineural hearing loss and then develop a conductive component in addition.

Baseline Hearing Tests

Most adults have never had a hearing test, but it pays to buck that trend. At your next annual physical, ask for a hearing test as part of your routine checkup. A hearing test gives your audiologist a baseline that they can compare with future results to monitor the progression of hearing loss. Getting down healthy practices early can be what saves your hearing in the long run.

Hearing Loss and Mental Health

Hearing loss at any age not only affects communication but has a substantial impact on mental wellbeing. While hearing loss is often accepted as a normal part of aging, of attending music shows and of many chosen professions, it may lead to greater dependence, restricted social participation and loneliness, leading to an increased likelihood of depression.

Hearing loss affects 1 of every 5 people and is strongly linked to loneliness: Every decibel drop in perception in people under 70 increases the odds of becoming severely lonely by 7%, one Dutch study showed.

Around a decade ago, scientists began focusing more on the potential harms of hearing loss as well as loneliness. Before long, it became clear that both conditions had enormous medical consequences on both the body and the mind.

Loneliness is associated with high blood pressure, elevated stress hormones and weakened immune systems, research shows. These feelings of isolation also raise the risk of dementia by 40% and the odds of early death by 26%, according to recent studies.

Untreated hearing loss, meanwhile, increases the risk of dementia by 50%, depression by 40% and falls by 30% over a 10-year period, a study published last year in JAMA Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery concluded.


Once you gain the information its a no brainer why you should be protecting your ears moving forward. Whether you are a seasoned vet in the industry or you will attending your first rave the possibility of causing lasting damage is very real and needs to be taken seriously. We all want a long lasting rave life as well as a healthy fulfilling life outside of the party, and that means being able to hear and communicate affectively. So make sure to protect your ears and continue to tune in with us at 6AM for all things industry!