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Noise induced hearing loss, or hearing loss caused by very loud noise, is becoming more and more common. We listen to music with our earbuds and blast noise right into our ears, and bars and restaurants keep cranking up the volume. Leisure activities are also getting louder, and sports events and rock concerts are deafeningly loud. Among all this growing noise, professional musicians are at a higher risk for developing hearing loss.
Music is Extremely Loud
Professional musicians, from rock band members to symphony orchestra performers, risk hearing loss as part of their everyday life. They spend hours every day playing their instruments, practicing with fellow musicians, and preparing for shows. On weekends the volume gets turned up even louder during concerts, and many musicians spend hours every day surrounded by extremely loud noise.
This exposure to very loud sound can soon lead to hearing loss. When these loud sounds reach the ear, the delicate hair cells of the inner ear may be damaged, or even die. They can no longer interpret the sound waves around in the environment, or send the brain a complete picture of the all the sound.
Musicians Often Have Hearing Loss
Because musicians are surrounded by loud sounds each day, they often face hearing loss. Musicians who don’t protect their ears suffer from noise induced hearing loss, and this hearing loss can end their careers. Noise induced hearing loss is preventable, and by wearing earplugs during daily music practices and performances, musicians could avoid losing their most important sense.
Earplugs for Musicians
Musicians know their music is loud, so why don’t they protect their hearing? Many traditional earplugs aren’t appropriate for musicians, since sounds will seem muffled, and earplugs can distort the sounds they’re straining to hear. Musicians are dedicated to making beautiful music, so they don’t want to wear anything that will interfere with that goal.
Thankfully, musician’s earplugs are now readily available, and will protect hearing without distorting sounds. Musicians earplugs are digital devices that scan the environment, and allow safe sounds to reach the ear normally. Loud sounds are instantly reduced, so the ear is protected. These devices will also reduce sounds equally across the frequencies, so reduced sounds won’t seem muffled or strange.
Earplugs for Music Appreciation
Professional musicians aren’t the only ones who’ll benefit from musician’s earplugs. Music lovers who often attend concerts are also risking their hearing and need to protect their ears. Musician’s earplugs can help you appreciate music without damaging your hearing, and these devices will let you enjoy a natural, rich, balanced sound at every concert you attend.
The Importance of Hearing Tests
Along with hearing protection, musicians and anyone else who has a loud career or noisy hobby should get regular hearing tests. While you may think your ears will be fine until you’re 80, if you’re exposed to a lot of noise you risk developing a hearing loss at a young age. Start with a baseline hearing test to determine your normal range of hearing. This test will give you something to refer to at your next test, and you’ll see immediately if your hearing has changed. High frequency sounds are often the first to suffer, so knowing your exact hearing range will help with early intervention and treatment. You should get a hearing test every few years, or as soon as you notice any changes to your hearing health.
Treating Hearing Loss and Enjoying Music
If you have hearing loss, you may have stopped listening to music, and find it hard to appreciate music like you used to. As you lose certain sounds, especially at high frequencies, music loses its full quality, and you’re listening to distorted music. Modern hearing technology will amaze you, and you can treat your hearing loss and enjoy music.
When searching for your next hearing aids, look for devices that will help you follow conversations, amplify sounds you struggle to hear, and easily localize sounds. Look for music listening programs that will give music it’s rich sound, and help you hear all the music you love in a whole new way. Whether you want to listen to music at home or at a concert, these hearing aids will make the music clear and beautiful, and increase your music appreciation.