Musicians Noised Induced Hearing Loss is more common then you think! In most cases, ringing in the ear (Tinnitus) also accompanies the hearing Loss. I got a note from a fellow musician who Produced a Public Service Announcement on Tinnitus. I viewed it and think it is fantastic. If you are a pit orchestra musician, a classical musician, a jazz musician, a rock/pop/fusion/funk/country/reggae/blues… any kind of musician….you must take preventative measures and protect your ears! (This goes for concert goers). Send this PSA link to every musician you know! Awareness is the key.
Musical instruments can generate considerable sound and thus can also cause hearing loss. The most damaging type of sounds is in the high-frequencies. The piccolo generates sound levels up to 112db…roughly equivalent to a jackhammer at 30 feet.
Violins and violas can be sufficiently loud to cause permanent hearing loss. This is typically worse in the left ear which is nearer the instrument. Unlike other instruments, the ability to hear the high-frequency harmonics is crucial to these musicians. Mutes can be used while practicing to reduce long term exposure. (Karlsson, Lundquist et al. 1983; Ostri, Eller et al. 1989; Royster, Royster et al. 1991; Sataloff 1991; Palin 1994; Teie 1998; Obeling and Poulsen 1999; Hoppmann 2001; Kahari, Axelsson et al. 2001). In a study of rock/Jazz musicions, almost 3/4 had a hearing disorder, with hearing loss, hyperacusis and tinnitus being the most common maladies. (Kaharit, Zachau et al. 2003)
Ready to concider preventative meaures? Click here and watch this PSA!
PS. Suffering from Tinnitus? Read this tinnitus blog!