DJ’s and Hearing Loss

Posted on January 16, 2015. Filed under: hearing education, hearing health, hearing loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Think back to that catchy song you heard on the radio this morning while driving to work. Well, you can thank a local DJ for that jam being stuck in your head. But have you ever thought about what it would be like to be a DJ? Sure it sounds like it would be a blast! Constantly bringing life to parties and events through the sound of music! But what many people seem to forget is that constant exposure to loud noises can damage hearing health and with National DJ day quickly approaching, it’s important to keep in mind the one of the most important tools that every DJ possesses: their hearing.

Think about the last concert you attended. Now do you remember anything about the drive home? You might recall your hearing being lowered for a bit and maybe even a persistent ringing noise for a couple of hours. Now imagine what it’s like to be exposed to that regularly. Some hearing damage is bound to happen. In many cases, DJ’s report that the relentless ringing noise lasts more than a few hours, for some, as long as life.

On average, a nightclub can exert as much as 115 decibels of noise, even though OSHA guidelines imply that anything over 105 decibels for more than one hour deems a workplace as unsafe. Even beyond the perspective of a DJ, club-goers are as much at risk as anyone else. In fact, a study conducted by the Action on Hearing Loss revealed that as much as 56% of young adults surveyed went to a club at least once a month. Even more so, 70% of them recalled hearing either dulled hearing or a ringing. Not enough shocking statistics for you? Well consider that only 16% of those recorded worried about losing their hearing.

Bringing it back to DJ’s however, you might imagine that they have it somewhat worse because as luck would have it, for many, it is their career. And one that places them directly in the line of fire of hearing loss. Just this past year alone, one of Forbes richest DJ’s openly spoke about his sudden loss of hearing in his left ear, only to be diagnosed shortly thereafter. The year before that, another DJ, Grimes, was forced to cancel several of her Canadian tour dates because she began experiencing hearing loss and tinnitus because of her exposure to loud music.

Realistically speaking, however, we can’t expect DJ’s to just stop doing what they love cold turkey. And we certainly can’t ask partygoers to stop attending clubs. After all, for some, this is a way of life. But there are methods of prevention that can be used to make sure your hearing is protected, DJ or otherwise. Many venues have already begun offering earplugs as a method of safety, if not, try bringing your own. If that’s out of the question, simply take a break from the loud noise, whether it’s a bathroom break or an outdoor patio. If you’re a DJ there are a few further tips you can exercise to protect your hearing. Try holding back on the alcohol as it inhibits the ability to judge when sounds are too loud. Some even suggest turning down monitors between mixes to lessen the exposure to damaging sounds. You could even use an external decibel meter to help determine the level of sound.

DJ's[Image Credit: Pitchfork]


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