Past studies show that there is a low frequency of use of earplugs at music events. In this research article produced by the National Acoustic Laboratories, Australia, a group of 51 regular attendees at music events were recruited and given music earplugs. An initial survey clarified their exposure regularity to music venues, and presence of any pre-existing hearing problems. They were followed up by surveys after four and 16 weeks of issue via e-mail, to explore their experiences of comfort, music enjoyment, ease of communication and overall attitude towards their use. Only 37 subjects completed all three surveys for comparative results. There was significant increase in reported comfort, ease of insertion and music enjoyment over time. The overall attitude towards the effect of earplugs on communication was unchanged at around half of all participants. Over 80% retained a positive attitude towards their use to prevent noise induced hearing loss at such events after the second survey. A small proportion of patients found difficulty with insertion, and an unsatisfactory level of music enjoyment from use. This study only evaluated the use of one particular type of earplug marketed specifically for exposure to loud music. It would be interesting to see parallel results using types of earplug for comparison. Clearly to achieve benefit from earplugs in the presence of loud music requires a positive attitude, perseverance, and a period of trial and error of the different products available by the user. 

Clubbers’ attitude toward earplugs: better with use.
Nielsen LB, Beach E, Gilliver M.
Share This
Linnea Cheung

Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey, UK.

View Full Profile