Music plays such an important role in our lives that the simple fact of hearing a song can either bring us to tears or make us smile, it can put us in a state of relaxation or give us the courage to move on.
That is why good musicians are considered very special people. And we cannot truly say otherwise, they actually have better auditory perception and discriminatory abilities than most.
However, everything comes at a risk. Due to their line of work, musicians are four times as likely to suffer from noise-induced hearing loss non-musicians.
It doesn’t really matter what type of music they do. Just the fact of listening to loud sounds repeatedly can damage the hair cells inside the inner ear, which don’t grow back, causing permanent hearing loss.
It’s not surprising, then, that many famous musicians; such as Phil Collins, Neil Young, David Bowie, Sting, Will.i.am, Ozzy Osbourne and James Hetfield; suffer from some degree of tinnitus. And the list continues. Take Beethoven, for example, this world-famous composer wrote some his best pieces while completely deaf.
Taking care of your hearing is important, and if you are a musician, it is a very big deal. That is why we would like to give you some advice about how to prevent tinnitus and help you keep your hearing at optimal levels.
First of all, try to keep your decibels lower than 85, if you can. According to the National Institute on Deafness, hearing loss starts with long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above this level.
However, we know that sometimes this is just not going to be possible. That is why the best next solution is to use earplugs. Nowadays, there are a wide variety of solutions and products you can use. Just to mention a few, you can choose between custom earplugs, in-ear monitors (which are basically headphones that also help you reduce sound levels), and flat attenuation earplugs.
The latter, for example, help you reduce the level of sound that reaches your ear while still providing an ideal listening environment and musical fidelity.
That said, the most important thing that can be done to take proper care of your hearing is to frequently visit your audiologist. Just as singers have to check their vocal cords every once in a while, every musician should go to his or her audiologist regularly. They are the best suited to help you with any kind of hearing problem you may be suffering from and indicate you the best solution to it. If you are living in the Miami area, come see Dr. Joseph K. Duran at New Generation Hearing Centers to get your ears checked out!