Music is a beautiful thing but unfortunately with many of the ways we listen to music, many of us are setting ourselves up for problems with our hearing which increases the risk of developing tinnitus. It is one thing when we expose ourselves to music played at high volume using iPods, speakers, mobile phones, etc. It is quite another when music is your life and your livelihood.
Musicians and tinnitus
Tinnitus from exposure to loud noises is one of the most common causes of tinnitus. Loud noises can damage the very sensitive parts of the ears that are responsible for hearing leading to hearing loss. Hearing loss is also a frequent cause of tinnitus.
With music being amplified, musicians are increasingly exposed to very loud sounds which increases the risk of developing hearing problems and hearing loss which can lead to tinnitus unless they take steps to protect their hearing.
Hearing problems or hearing loss due to loud noise depends on its acoustic power (sound intensity. Because tinnitus can be enough to drive anyone crazy and can cause depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, fear, drug and alcohol dependence, social withdrawal, problems concentrating and so on and so forth, protecting your hearing is very important especially if you are a musician.
Protecting your hearing while playing is important for many reasons that include protecting oneself from the discomfort of loudness, preventing post exposure tinnitus after the concert as well as preventing damage to your hearing which could lead to a more permanent type of tinnitus.
Using a wide range of ear protection devices is one of the best ways that musicians deal with tinnitus risk such as earplugs. The best earplugs for musicians or others who want to protect their hearing from loud noises should be able to reduce the sound level which still maintaining an even balance across the sound spectrum.
This means that though the loudness will be greatly reduced, you should still be able to hear everything very clearly. . If you are a musician you definitely don’t want hearing protectors that produce muffled or distorted sounds while reducing loudness.
While there are many earplugs commonly available on the market that may work, many musicians usually spend extra money on customized earplugs and may work with qualified audiologists because the devices produced may be able to provide a greater sound protection level and better balance across the sound spectrum. While these customized earplugs are very expensive, this investment is well worth it because can you truly put a price on your ability to continue hearing?
There are also several companies that produce special hearing protectors specifically for musicians that are extremely high tech.
This is just a little information on how musicians deal with tinnitus risk. Protecting your hearing is not just something for musicians but for anyone who is exposed to loud noises and it is important if you use mp3 players, iPods, cell phones, etc, to play loud music to consider how this will impact your hearing ability in the future.