How Musicians Can Avoid Hearing Loss

Posted on March 18, 2016. Filed under: hearing loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hearing loss is common amongst musicians and Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, and Phil Collins are just a few musicians who have suffered with hearing loss over the years. The reason? The intensity of music is more than that of speech and this, consequently warrants different strategies and approaches to protect all musicians from hearing loss.  Some things to be considered are based on who is listening, the listening situation, their needs and hearing status.

It is critical for musicians that do not have any hearing problem cover their ears properly. To achieve this, some custom-made and commercially available hearing protection earplugs can be used. If a musician practices for at least two hours daily, it is necessary for them to maximize physical comfort and commit to strong protection of the ear’s core components. Musicians are often exposed to noise that is deemed “too loud” while they are performing and are not aware of it. Humans can discern spectra change very easily but find it difficult to judge loudness. For a rock musician, they might be exposed to about 110 to 115 dBA twice a week. A musician with a hearing problem using hearing aids needs to remove them during practice and performance or risks further damage.

When listening to a loud sound source, turn down the volume as much as possible. Yes, this can be a drag, but protection is the key to future strong hearing for musicians. The lower the input of the hearing aid the better the hearing aid circuit is allowed to do what it was designed to do.

One great option to preserve the quality of hearing is placing a compressor before the analogue allows for a digital converter. By placing it at the front end of the circuit, the sound will be compressed and avoid saturation of the analogue to digital converter. It then can result in a digital expansion of the digital circuit. There are some technologies in the marketplace available currently that do exactly that.

Musicians work hard to craft their work and image. That shouldn’t come at the sacrifice of future hearing issues. Protecting the core components of the ear will ensure that all musicians can avoid hearing loss in years to come.

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