(Cover) – EN Fitness & Wellbeing – With Coachella’s second weekend now in full swing, researchers have urged male festivalgoers to steer clear of alcohol for the sake of their hearing.

A new study conducted by Dutch experts has discovered that both drink and drugs, combined with the absence of earplugs, could be causing real damage to men who attend large-scale music events.

They reached this conclusion after examining 18 men and 33 women between the ages of 21 and 33 who spent the day at an outdoor music festival in Amsterdam in September 2015. Earplugs were offered to 25 of the participants, and by the time the four and a half hour event came to a close, the team learned that those who didn’t wear ear plugs were more likely to suffer hearing problems if they were men, and consumed drink or drugs during the day.

Dr Veronique Kraaijenga, of University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands, hypothesised that male music-lovers were more likely to stand closer to blaring speakers if they were under the influence.

“With increasing intake of alcohol, the amount of time spent near loudspeakers increased. The intention to use earplugs was associated with the loudness and appreciation of music and the speech perception with earplugs,” she explained. “Not using earplugs and consumption of alcohol were identified as associated with a TTS (temporary threshold shift) in both ears.”

This is the first study of its kind to analyse three factors associated with an increased risk of hearing loss following a live music event. Dr Kraaijenga believed any post-festival ear issues, such as hearing loss and ringing in the ears, were thought to be temporary though she couldn’t be certain.

While little is yet known about such associations, she insisted that “non-use of earplugs was the most important factor” contributing to hearing problems, and encouraged festival revellers to invest in a pair.

So fellas, don’t let her advice fall on deaf ears, and use ear plugs at the next festival or gig you attend.

© Cover Media