News stories about famous rock musicians such as Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton have brought attention to the dangers of loud music. These musicians developed severe hearing loss after years of performing. But don’t think for a minute that rock stars who’ve played on stage for years are the only ones at risk for hearing loss. Although you may not have won a Grammy or been on a world tour, playing music puts you at risk for hearing loss too.
Who Is a Musician?
A musician isn’t just a superstar. Musicians are anyone from a formally trained professional musician to someone who plays music as a hobby. Music teachers, members of the high school band, and violists in the symphony orchestra are all musicians. A musician playing any type of instrument at a loud enough level over time has a risk of ear damage. A volume level that is safe for a brief period may cause extensive ear damage over years of repeated exposure.
And let’s not forget those who listen to music such as producers, audio engineers, DJ’s, and even concert goers, they are at risk too. Anyone exposed to loud music with the potential to cause noise induced hearing loss needs hearing protection also.
Musicians Need an Audiologist
Individuals at risk for ear injury caused by loud music need to see an audiologist every year. Four common auditory injuries can occur when you listen to loud music over time:
Tinnitus. Tinnitus or ringing in the ears is the main reason a musician with ear damage from listening to loud music first sees an audiologist.
Hearing loss. Research shows that musicians have a greater risk of developing hearing loss. A decrease in hearing from loud sounds can either be temporary or permanent. Keep in mind too many temporary decreases in hearing can turn into a permanent loss over time. In addition, an acoustic trauma from a single music peak at levels of 140dB or greater have the potential for immediate irreversible hearing loss.
Hyperacusis. Sometimes an ear injury from loud music results in hyperacusis or an intolerance to sound. A sound that doesn’t bother a person with normal auditory functioning can cause pain or discomfort for someone with hyperacusis.
Diplacusis. This auditory disorder occurs when the pitch of sound isn’t heard correctly. This can be devastating for a musician who needs to hear pitch perfect.
Audiologists Help Musicians Prevent Hearing loss
Our audiologists want to help you prevent hearing loss before ear damage occurs. Protecting your ears is the key to preventing noise induced hearing loss and ear injury. Custom hearing protection is the best solution for musicians who want to avoid ear damage while still enjoying the music they love. We fit both custom ear plugs and custom in-the-ear monitors.
The benefits of custom musicians ear plugs over foam plugs include:
• Superior sound quality
• Consistent fit
• Predictability of hearing protection
• Comfortable fit
The advantages of custom in-the-ear monitors over floor monitors consist of:
• Better signal-to-noise ratio
• Superior sound quality
• Reduced stage noise and volume
*Custom in-the-ear monitors are powerful and can pose a risk to your hearing if not used properly. They need to we worn at safe levels as directed by your audiologist.
Please Call Us at (314) 227-0571 to Protect Your Hearing from the Music You Love!