Being A Musician, There are dangers from Noise Induced Hearing Loss

More symptoms of NIHL were found among the musicians. At 4,000 Hz frequency, or high pitched sounds, the audiometer showed significant differences between musicians and non-musicians. Although young musicians did not suffer from hearing loss at the time of the study, almost 7 percent already suffered from permanent tinnitus, and 17 percent had experienced temporary ringing sounds in their ears.

Researchers concluded that NIHL may develop over the years in musicians. Also, they suggested that some instruments, such as electric guitars and drums may affect hearing more than others, but further research should be done on this subject. Hearing protectionand taking breaks from the loud music will make a difference for professional musicians.

About the study
The study was carried out by Jose Maria Verdaguer and colleagues from the ENT department of Puerto de Hierro Hospital in Madrid, Spain. Questionnaires, hearing screening and audiometric tests at several frequencies were conducted and the results were presented in the 58th National Conference of the Spanish Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Neck and Head Pathology in November 2007 in Madrid.

Source: Many musicians suffer from hearing loss. It can result from the booming drums or the blaring guitar amplifiers of a hard-rock group. However it can also result from the violin or the piccolo flute of a symphony orchestra.For a musician whose livelihood depends on rehearsing and playing music 4-8 hours a day, the danger of a hearing impairment is always present.

Deafness or hearing impairment resulting from prolonged exposure to loud noise is most frequently associated with industrial workplaces, airports etc. The damaging effects of this kind of noise are also the most studied type of noise-induced hearing loss.But according to an article in "The Hearing Review", February 1999, by otolaryngolist Ken Einhorn, up to 52 % of classical musicians and up to 30 % of rock or pop musicians suffer from music-induced hearing loss, MIHL. It is hardly surprising that music can cause damage while on the job. The sound pressure of a large concert orchestra may reach 112 dB - of amplified rock bands even up to 130 dB, far more than that accepted in an industrial environment.

For the musicians who are regularly subjected to this kind of noise, the resulting problems can be devastating described as noise induced hearing loss. Symptoms begin with losing the ability to hear high-frequency sounds and tones.

In many cases, this causes problems for musicians and singers who must be able to hear and play high notes equally as well as low ones in order to play or sing along with other orchestra members. Often, a musician who suffers from loss of high frequency hearing will try to compensate by playing louder at high-pitched notes, which leads to an artistically unacceptable performance.

As the problem grows, the musician might react over sensitively: suffer from increased blood pressure, headaches, fatigue or experience some sounds or instruments as being painfully loud, a state that often leads to tinnitus. Another common symptom is the inability to perceive changes in pitch. This state, known as displacusis, is extremely problematic for singers, who have to be in control of their voice and stay in tune at all times. A hearing-impaired singer is also at risk of damaging his or her voice by constantly singing louder in order to monitor his/her own voice.

There is no cure for noise induced hearing loss, but the use of modern hearing instruments is gaining more acceptances among musicians.
Of course it goes without saying that protection is better than cure.


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