Noise-induced hearing loss can occur as the result of one single exposure to loud noise, like a rock concert, or exposure to loud noises over a lifetime. Though this problem is common, preventing hearing loss is critical to the ability to continue to hear and reduces the risk of hearing loss later in life.
Musicians Experience Repeated Exposure to Loud Noise
Musicians are particularly at risk for hearing loss simply because they are often exposed to loud noises during performances, and that exposure is repeated. And though you may think this affects only professional musicians, or rockers, it doesn’t. It applies to the kids in the marching band, performers with the symphony, and members of the church choir. Each of these individuals is at risk for exposure to loud noise and hearing loss. So, whether you play in a garage band or sing in the church band, how can you reduce your risk for hearing loss?
Hearing Protection That Does More Than Muffle the Sound
Start by wearing some type of hearing protection. Though over-the-counter earplugs can block the noise, they also block the sounds you need to hear if you are performing, and are usually not the best solution in this case. Here are some better options:
Musicians’ earplugs are non-electrical earplugs which contain custom filters that make specific sounds in the music spectrum softer without compromising the overall musical experience. These can reduce sound levels by about 20 decibels, which is normally enough to reduce harmful sounds without distorting music or voices.
Custom In-Ear Musician Monitors
These ear plugs use technology to deliver a noise reduction between 25 and 35 decibels, while letting musicians listen to their music or a custom mix of vocals and instrumentation as they perform live or work in the recording studio. Music lovers often prefer custom in-ear monitors for use with performance, practice and even personal listening devices such as MP3 players. They offer brilliant sound quality built into a comfortable custom-fit earpiece.
Custom-Fit Hearing Protection Requires a Professional Consultation
One word of caution - custom-fit hearing protection should not be purchased over the internet. This type of hearing protection requires a personal consultation with an audiologist and custom ear impressions to be sure they fit properly. Musicians’ products are available in a wide range of styles, with products starting as low as $180 per pair. In addition to musicians’ products, Associated Audiologists also offers custom hearing protection for hunters, swimmers, sleep, and motorsports.