Protecting Your Hearing as a Musician

by | Sep 26, 2022 | News

Being a musician is among the most common dreams or aspirations of young people. While they might want the fame and fortune of record label discovery, they rarely consider the risk music can pose to their health, especially hearing.

Safe sounds include a range of between 80 to 85 decibels — your average bass drum roll is about 106 decibels. While damage primarily occurs with sustained exposure, musicians must take extra precautions to protect their hearing.

A Musician Is at a Greater Risk of Hearing Loss or Damage

Playing a musical instrument requires good hearing. A player must listen to the notes and acknowledge melodies. Unfortunately, because music artists experience more exposure to sounds over the safe decibel range, they are at an increased risk of hearing loss.

Studies suggest between 30% and 50% of instrumentalists report having hearing problems or loss. The percentage is a result of several factors, including exposure to higher frequencies and volumes. The reverberation in the rehearsal or performance venue can also increase the risks to hearing.

However, exposure to louder and more prolonged sounds is not the only threat to hearing. A musician may also make lifestyle choices that can increase the risks of noise-induced hearing loss, like smoking.

There Are Steps a Musician Can Take To Protect Their Hearing

Hearing loss is not inevitable for musicians. If an artist takes the appropriate precautions and gets regular checkups, they can reduce their risks. Medical professionals recommend at least four ways to protect your hearing.

1. Wear Ear Plugs

The best way to protect your hearing is to protect your ears. Since volume is the most significant contributor to hearing loss, consider wearing earplugs.

There are many styles of earplugs, and each will provide a different level of protection. When purchasing ear plugs, you want to check the box or product description to ensure they offer adequate protection for a musician.

2. Avoid Danger Zones

If you are in a band, you want to avoid the danger zones while playing. Stay away from the speakers and maintain a safe distance from the drums. While wearing ear protection can help, you still need to be aware of the volume and exposure levels around you.

3. Turn Down the Volume

Many bands play with amplifiers, especially if playing electric guitar or some other electric instrument. Amps are excellent tools for large spaces, but when practicing or playing in smaller, more intimate venues, turn down the volume.

4. Visit an Audiologist

Hearing is crucial to playing an instrument. An audiologist can help ensure your hearing is at a healthy level, and they can help you identify safe strategies for protecting your hearing while playing.

Hearing Loss Can Be Devastating

Whether a musician or not, your hearing is essential to your life. If you are experiencing hearing difficulty or merely want to check on the health of your ears, contact HEAR Center to schedule an appointment. The professionals working with the center can also provide important hearing safety information for those interested, and they can answer any questions you might have.

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