I can still remember the feeling I had after my first road parade. The euphoria of wining all day behind the truck still flowed through my veins and a numbing fatigue had started to set in. One thing I also clearly remember was the intense ringing in my ears. For DAYS afterwards it interfered with my normal hearing and was damn annoying. To make things worse, tinnitus from loud music is likley a warning sign that some level of damage was done to the inner ear structures responsible for hearing.
Now, I plan to stay young forever, but I have to do my part to help that happen.
Just like I advise and practise the liberal use of copper tone sport SPF 50 sunblock I also strongly recommend the use of foam earplugs.
You can shop around on the net for a big container of these earplugs. I advise getting the cheapest one. Also don’t sweat getting the maximum noise isolation. I actually look for the ones with less ability to block out sound.
Why, you ask?
While you will protect your hearing, carnival itself is very very different if the music isn’t prominently heard.
My first year with overeffective earplugs I could barely hear the music at all unless I was right by a truck. That turned out to be a major buzz kill. I have since found that the cheapest earplugs with milder isolation provides more than enough protection to avoid tinnitus and damage but still let enough sound in to allow you to FEEL the vibe of the music.
Here is a link to some earplugs.
And here is a video showing you how to properly apply them….