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

Musicians rock. They bring so much pleasure to our lives with their performances. But music is so much more powerful when it’s loud, and that can be a hearing hazard. The musicians themselves are at an increased danger of hearing damage since they are subjected to loud music just about every day.

As you get older, you’ll still want to be able to enjoy your favorite music whether you’re a musician or not. The key to having a long successful career, for musicians, is protecting their ears. For the rest of us, ear protection is the secret to a lifetime of musical enjoyment and enrichment.

Music is surprisingly loud

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

Is music really that loud? If you ask someone whether an acoustic guitar or a lone violin is loud, they may not reply so quickly. Usually, when they hear the answer, they’re pretty surprised: that music is indeed loud! Your ears can even be damaged by classical music which can get to relatively high volumes.

Sounds louder than 90 dB can be produced by a violin, for example. A leaf blower is about this noisy. To put that into context, the European Union regulations dictate that any workplace louder than 85 dB will require the use of ear protection.

And if you’re working with music on a daily basis, constant exposure to that sort of volume, especially without hearing protection, can seriously damage your hearing over time.

Can you protect your ears from noise damage?

Okay, musicians who want to preserve their hearing for years to come need to protect their hearing. So how can musicians continue to enjoy their music while also safeguarding their hearing?

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

  • Track your volume: Knowledge is power, right? So being aware of volume levels of sounds around you will help you protect your hearing. Tracking the volume on amps and PA systems is one factor. But you can also monitor day-to-day volume levels of external noises using a volume meter app that you can download on your cellphone. You will need to make some changes if the meter regularly detects volumes above 85 dB.
  • Take breaks: Like any part of your body, your ears can become fatigued and might need a little break. So give yourself “hearing breaks” regularly. This will help stop your ears from becoming overpowered with noise (and damage). Duration is nearly as relevant as volume with regard to hearing health. Taking breaks can be the difference between just the right amount of stimulation and too much!

hearing protection is important

Using ear protection is the single most effective way to safeguard your hearing. Lots of musicians are worried that hearing protection will muffle the sound and effects its overall sound quality. But depending on what type of hearing protection you use, that may not always be true.

  • Ear plugs made mainly for musicians: Most individuals are most likely familiar with disposable ear plugs. They don’t always fit perfectly, but they do reliably block a lot of sound. They’re cheap, easy to get, and easy to throw away. And they aren’t best suited for musicians. However, by spending just a little more money, you can purchase high-quality earplugs designed specifically for musicians. These earplugs use cutting-edge manufacturing tricks (mostly they’re made out of very specific materials and are designed to conform nicely to the ear) to maintain audio fidelity while decreasing the noise you experience by about 20dB. For musicians who require a moderate amount of protection on a budget, this option is perfect.
  • Electronic earplugs: The same general functionality found in non-electronic earplugs can also be found in 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. This solution is perfect for people who work in particularly loud environments, and who are looking for more options when it comes to controlling volume.
  • In-ear monitors: Most music is electronic now, or at least amplified by electronics. A device, known as an in-ear-monitor, is put in your ear and sends signals in electronically. It’s like a special little speaker for your ear, and the majority of monitors can block out sound from the outside world (thanks to a fairly tight fit and specialized design). 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 perfect answer.

Protect your hearing, and protect your career

It’s never too late to take steps to safeguard your hearing, but it’s definitely a good idea to start sooner rather than later. Everyone can safeguard their hearing and future with ear protection solutions for every budget. Remember, hearing protection for a musician is an investment in your career. By doing so, you will be able to enjoy making music for as long as you want to.

Don’t really know where to begin? Call us 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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