You are a musician and you are often exposed to high noise? Being exposed to heavy sounds for too long can damage your hearing. But how can you protect your ears while maintaining the quality of the music you play or listen to? Think about wearing hearing protection to protect your ears!
1. Why should musicians pay attention to their ears?
Do you often rehearse together with the members of your band? Do you frequently go to gigs or festivals? Beings exposed to heavy sounds for too long can damage your hearing, invoking buzzing in your ears – also called tinnitus – or hearing loss, for example. Due to this exposure to heavy sounds, a lot of people experience buzzing in their ears when they come back from gigs or festivals. Tinnitus represents a noise that originates in the ear but does not have an external source in the surrounding environment.
A study from the National Institute for Health argues that people’s hearing can be damaged even if they do not feel any hearing impairment. The Institute emphasized the fact that the threshold for hearing loss would be situated at around 85 decibels. Knowing that the maximum volume of an iPod hovers around 100 decibels and a gig at a minimum of 110 decibels, it has to be acknowledged that it is quite important to take the necessary precautions to protect your ears. The exposure to noise is even more harmful when it is incessant and frequent.
It is a common thought that only rockers suffer from hearing loss. In contrast, several studies have shown that classical musicians suffer more from hearing problems than other musicians. The sound volume, the length but also the frequency of exposure to background noise from various sound sources can damage your hearing irreparably. The latter can lead to auditory fatigue, deafness, hyperacusis or tinnitus. It is precisely this reason which makes it important to protect your ears to maintain your hearing in the long-term.
2. Can hearing protection be a solution?
One of the best solutions for musicians is to make use of hearing protection. It reduces the sound intensity while maintaining its quality. Traditional earplugs composed of wax, foam or silicone, limit the risks of hearing damage. Earplugs replete with an acoustic filter represent an even better solution, as they reduce the background noise another 20 decibels and can be used for several years (link).
Here are some other pieces of advice to take care of your ears:
- Take breaks isolating yourself from sound sources every 45 minutes;
- Avoid staying close to main noise sources;
- Limit the volume of your mp3 player to half the maximum volume;
- Try to avoid drinking, as alcohol will reduce your tolerance to loud noise.
3. Testimonials from famous musicians
Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay, uses hearing protection since he started suffering from tinnitus. He contends that hearing protection has enabled him to reduce it.
Paul Stanley, one of the members of the hard rock band Kiss, has been suffering from hearing loss since he was born. To maintain his hearing, he constantly wears hearing protection.
And they are not alone! DJ Charlotte Devaney also wears hearing protection, she also suffers from tinnitus and argues that they do not influence the sound quality.
In this article, you have learned that:
Being exposed to heavy sounds can damage your hearing leading to tinnitus and hearing losses, for example;
One of the best solutions for musicians is to wear hearing protection;
A lot of famous musicians constantly wear hearing protection, such as Chris Martin, Paul Stanley or Charlotte Devaney.