Musicians: Do you need
special hearing protection?
Music Can Damage Your Hearing!
Hearing protection for musicians is very important, since prolonged exposure to music can cause hearing loss; prevention is possible while still providing clarity and high fidelity (see Musicians Services). The evidence that hearing loss occurs among musicians reveals that up to 52% of classical musicians and up to 30% of rock/pop/jazz musicians develop hearing loss as a result of high intensity sounds of varying duration. Distortion of frequencies is common. The hearing loss may range from mild to profound, may result in tinnitus, and is cumulative over a lifetime. Studies show that musicians routinely face sound pressure levels in hazardous ranges for hearing on stage in amplified rock/pop bands, in jazz, blues, and country and western bands as well as orchestras. Many musicians practice or perform 4-8 hours a day which is ADDITIVE with other types of loud noise exposure, i.e. personal stereo use, hobby tools, etc.
Symptoms of hearing damage may include:
- Tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in one or both ears)
- Difficulty understanding in restaurants or social gatherings
- Muffled hearing after a performance
- Distortion and/or difficulty tuning
- “My instrument isn’t loud enough”
- “I sing so I don’t have to worry”
- “It doesn’t hurt, so it’s not damaging my hearing”
- “I don’t play enough to worry”
- “If it’s pleasant – it won’t damage my ears”
Hearing requirements of musicians are unique, and our Audiologist at Hearing Solutions in the Triangle will evaluate your personal noise risk and recommend appropriate ear protection for your hearing. Tiny, comfortable earplugs may be all you need to protect your precious sense of hearing.
Customized ear protectors are available with high-tech filters that are acoustically tuned and developed for musicians (see Musicians Earplugs). For the first time, you can hear your music at a safer level without sacrificing clarity or fidelity.