When most people think of a musician’s life, they think of sold-out shows and life on the road, a seemingly glamorous lifestyle. Caught up in all of the glory and fame affording to our area’s most recognized musicians, it is easy to forget about some of the lifestyle downsides.
Musicians tend to enjoy loud music, but a volume cranking lifestyle will eventually take its toll on your hearing. Constant noise over 70 decibels can significantly harm your hearing, something many musicians tend to overlook.
Taking Care of Your Ears and Musicians
There is a stigma when it comes to taking care of your ears and playing music. Some musicians don’t want any interference from hearing their work, while others simply believe that hearing loss won’t happen to them. Reasons aside, repetitive exposure to loud noises and noisy environments will eventually punish your ears and cause irreversible hearing damage.
Research shows that professional musicians are four times more likely to develop noise-induced hearing loss than the general public and 57% more likely to develop tinnitus. However, there are things that musicians can do to prevent this hearing loss before it ever happens.
Tips For Musicians to Avoid Hearing Loss
Perhaps the easiest way to avoid hearing loss is to prevent frequent and lengthy exposure to loud noises. Being exposed to loud noises for prolonged periods is one of the most detrimental things you can do to your ears.
In-ear ringing might stop a few hours after subjecting yourself to excruciating noise, but repeated exposure can lead to unrepairable hearing loss. If you happen to be a musician practicing your music at loud levels, it is vital to take regular breaks to protect your ears.
Another good strategy for protesting your ears as a musician is to employ earplugs. Earplugs are your best defense against noise-induced hearing loss. When appropriately used, earplugs can do an excellent job of protecting your ear canal.
Even a cheap pair of disposable foam earplugs from your local convenience store will reduce noise by 20 to 30 decibels. However, disposable earplugs are meant only for use a handful of times. Also, they don’t provide the best protection for low-frequencies and high-frequencies.
If you’re an active musician who frequently spends time around loud noises, consider investing in a pair of reusable earplugs. They offer excellent protection against all-frequency noises, making them an ideal choice for protecting your hearing.
Another good strategy for protecting your hearing is to use noise-canceling headphones. Over the past decade, many innovations have been made to traditional headphones.
Noise Canceling Headphones
Recently, noise-canceling earbuds and headphones have a popular product for audio enthusiasts. They are known to do an excellent job of eliminating excess sounds from ambient background noise, so you can better enjoy the music you’rere listening to. This allows you to listen to your music much more clearly, without turning up the volume when the environment gets too loud.
There are two different types of noise-canceling headphones: active and passive. Active noise-canceling headphones require a power source and do a better job at reducing lower frequencies. They are usually more expensive than passive noise-canceling headphones due to the extensive technology that goes into their design.
On the other hand, passive noise-canceling headphones don’t require any power. They use insulation and sound-absorbing material to reduce background noise. They do an excellent job of lowering higher frequencies and are much cheaper than active noise-canceling headphones.
The Cheapest Option
An important–and somewhat obvious–trick to promoting healthy hearing is merely staying away from speakers when possible. Whether you’re in the studio, practicing with your band, hanging at a nightclub, or attending a concert, try your best to avoid standing directly in front of the speakers.
Loud noises are much more intense when you’re near the source of the sound. If you can, try to position yourself next to the amplifiers next time your band rehearses, and remember to stand back in the crowd when music is blaring at a live event.
Your inner ear will eventually suffer damage if you make a habit of subjecting yourself to loud music. There is nothing you can do to build up a resistance to loud noises. However, you can turn down the volume. It’s best not to make a habit of practicing at high volumes or listening to music too loudly.
It is also essential to remember to get your hearing checked often. A regular checkup can help you prevent severe hearing damage and detect any onset hearing loss. Suppose you’ve been exposed to loud noises and are experiencing muffled sounds, ringing in your ears, hypersensitivity, or any other difficulty with your sense of hearing. In that case, it’s time for a hearing test.
Regular checkups will help you better understand your hearing health and prevent serious damage from happening. You only have one pair of ears. It’s vital to take good care of them. If you find yourself in the Las Vegas area, consider consulting Hearing Associates of Las Vegas for all of your hearing needs.