Close up of drummer's hands playing a drum kit. Drums are very loud, the player should be wearing hearing protection.

Musicians rock. Their shows bring us so much enjoyment. The drawback is that music is nearly always loud, in fact, many individuals prefer it that way. The musicians themselves are at an increased danger of hearing damage since they are subjected to loud music nearly every day.

Whether your income depends on music or not, you’ll still want to be able to hear your favorite songs when you’re in your later years of life. The key to having an extended successful career, for musicians, is protecting their ears. Ear protection is also key to a lifetime of musical enjoyment for everybody.

Music is surprisingly loud

Most people would say that a jet engine is really loud.

Is music really that loud? People might not be so quick to answer that question if you ask them if a violin or acoustic guitar is loud. Imagine their surprise when they discover the reality: That can also be very loud music! Even classical music can reach fairly high volumes that can easily damage your hearing.

A violin, for example, can create sounds in excess of 90 dB. That’s around as loud as a leaf blower. To put that into context, the European Union laws dictate that any work environment noisier than 85 dB will require the use of ear protection.

And your hearing can be significantly damaged over time if you’re working with music every day, particularly if you don’t wear ear protection.

How can you safeguard your hearing?

Okay, now you’re aware that musicians need to protect their hearing (especially if they want to continue rocking out for years to come). So what can musicians do to protect their hearing and still enjoy the music they love so much?

Well, here are a couple of simple things musicians can do:

  • Take breaks: Your ears are the same as any other part of your body: they can be overworked and will frequently benefit from rest. So give yourself “hearing breaks” regularly. By doing this, noises won’t overwhelm and harm your ears. With regard to hearing, how long you’re exposed is nearly as important as how loud it is. Taking breaks can be the difference between just the right amount of stimulation and too much!
  • Track your volume: Knowledge is power, right? So it makes sense that you should always know what levels of sound you’re exposing your ears to. Usually, this is as easy as tracking your volume settings on amps and receivers. But you can also buy a volume meter app for your cellphone to make it convenient to track the real-world volume levels your ears are experiencing from day-to-day. If the meter detects volumes above 85dB regularly, you’ll need to address this.

hearing protection is important

Using ear protection is the single most effective way to safeguard your hearing. Many musicians are reluctant to wear hearing protection because they’re worried it will impact the clarity of sound they hear, in addition to dampening the volume. That isn’t always true, depending on which kind of hearing protection you use.

  • Ear plugs made primarily for musicians: Disposable earplugs are something that’s most likely very familiar to most individuals. They’re fairly good at stopping a lot of sound though they sometimes don’t fit comfortably. They’re cheap, easy to get, and easy to dispose of. For musicians, they aren’t the best solution. But earplugs just for musicians are also available at a slightly higher cost. A specialized material and state-of-the-art engineering are utilized to help these earplugs fit comfortably in the ear and decrease external noise by around 20% while preserving the audio fidelity. This solution is perfect for musicians who require a light to moderate level of protection (and who don’t have a ton of money to invest in earplugs, or are likely to misplace them).
  • Electronic earplugs: Electronic earplugs work in basically the same way as high-quality, non-electronic earplugs. The majority of the sound will be blocked by the earplug itself. What you hear will instead be routed in by the earplug itself. For individuals who work in very loud settings and need better control of the volume, these earplugs are perfect.
  • In-ear monitors: The majority of music is electronic these days, or at least amplified by electronics. A device, called an in-ear-monitor, is put in your ear and sends signals in electronically. The majority of monitors are small speakers that fit snugly and block out most sound while playing sounds you want to hear at safe volumes. This means you can hear exactly how you sound, at a volume you control. For musicians who electronically amplify their instruments these in-ear-monitors are the ideal answer.

Safeguard your career by protecting your ears

It’s better to start protecting your hearing early, before any substantial damage occurs. With options available at nearly every price point, there are easy ways for everyone to safeguard their hearing and their future. Keep in mind, ear protection for a musician is an investment in your career. By doing so, you will be able to enjoy creating music for as long as you want to.

Don’t quite know where to begin? Give us a call today, we can help!

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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