Hearing Loss in
Musicians

Hearing Loss is Not Uncommon
Among Musicians and Music Fans

If you’ve ever been to a concert and come home with your ears ringing, unable to hear normally even the next day, you know all too well the reality of the connection between loud music and hearing loss. But it’s not just limited to being in a loud arena or concert venue. Musicians and people who like to listen to music at loud volumes are subject to consistently precarious noise levels, which over time can lead to hearing loss.

When it comes to hearing loss, it’s all about the decibels (dB). Noise levels over 85dB are considered to be in the harmful range. What does that mean for musicians? Your guitar can go upwards of 106dB on an amp; drums can reach 100dB; and rock concert speakers can produce dangerously high levels of 120dB or higher. Sustained over time, exposure to these decibel levels of music – whether playing it or listening to it – can lead to hearing loss.

Hearing Aids to Help Musicians and
Music Aficionados

Fortunately for music lovers – those who play music and those who enjoy listening to it – there’s no need to turn off the music! Hearing aids can be of great help to virtually anyone who has suffered hearing loss, be it from loud music and/or from other sources of harmfully high noise levels.

Thanks to hearing aids, musicians can keep on making that sweet, sweet music. You don’t have to put the drumsticks down or hang up that guitar! And if you’re a music fan, you’d be devastated not to be able to hear the music anymore, right? Well, with hearing aids you can keep the music going. Hearing aids can help you hear properly and are available in a wide range of sound amplification, configuration, size and design. Many hearing aids offer noise cancellation and/or noise protection. For musicians, hearing aids are critical, enabling you to hear the music and to continue making great music.

Custom Hearing Protective Devices Might Meet Your Needs

Custom Hearing Protection

In addition to hearing aids, we offer a number of devices that work effectively to protect your ears from damage that would otherwise lead to (further) hearing loss. Find out more by talking with a NexGen Hearing clinician today.

Hearing Protection for Industrial Noise Exposure

Many people suffered hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to dangerously high decibel levels in the workplace. Hearing aids are an excellent solution for virtually anyone who suffers from hearing loss.

Hearing Protection for Musicians

Whether you play music, listen to music or both, you may be exposed to unsafe levels of noise. We offer a wide range of ear plugs and other hearing protective devices for musicians and music aficionados.

Enjoy Music Without Risking Your Hearing Health

“These go to 11.” The old joke and meme from the classic film “Spinal Tap” speaks to how musicians and music aficionados love to crank up the volume. To prevent hearing loss, however, it’s probably advisable not to go up to 11. Even playing music 8 or 9 – for sustained periods of time – could pose a threat of long-term hearing loss. Hearing protection is all about prevention of (further) hearing loss. Reducing the volume is the first step in hearing loss prevention.

Other means of hearing protection include ear plugs and noise-cancelling devices. Many hearing aids on the market today offer enhanced noise cancellation and other noise protection features to reduce or block out certain frequencies and noise levels. Talk to a NexGen Hearing professional about how a hearing aid can keep you in the music!

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About Hearing Loss for Musicians

My mom used to tell me I’d go deaf if I played that rock n’ roll music too loud. Was she right?

Sadly, your mom may have been on to something. Whether you were rocking out with your guitar and amp cranked all the way up (to 11!), or you enjoyed listening to music on your headphones at a high volume, the prospects for hearing loss were not and are not fake news. Hearing loss among musicians and music aficionados is all too real. The effects of playing loud music, listening to loud music and attending loud concerts can add up over time. Mild, moderate and even severe hearing loss is not uncommon among musicians and music fans alike. Fortunately, hearing aids can help bring the music and other sounds back to a near-normal volume.

Is there a particular type of music that’s better or worse for hearing loss prevention?

It’s really more about the volume at which you play the music that factors into potential for hearing loss. When comparing jazz played at “10” versus rock music played at “1,” you can imagine which would be better for the ears (not judging one music genre over another, just the facts about decibels, noise, music volume and hearing loss). If you are a classical musician and you’re in the percussion section at a hundred concerts a year, plus rehearsals and practice, you’ve got some serious noise exposure and potential for hearing loss. Whether you’re a musician or music fan, volume reduction (when possible) and ear protection are crucial steps in preventing hearing loss.

I’m a musician experiencing hearing loss. I fear the day will come when I won’t be able to make music anymore. What should I do?

Hearing loss for a musician is a realistic fear, and also a very sad and scary prospect. Prevention of further hearing loss is the first step. Make sure you are wearing proper ear protection at all times when playing or listening to music. Also consider the other aspects in your life, where high noise level exposure may occur, and use ear protection in those situations as well. Second, you should strongly consider hearing aids. Depending on the type and level of hearing loss you have experienced, we can recommend a variety of hearing aid devices that will help bring the sound and music back to your life. NexGen Hearing, BC’s leading provider of hearing health, can provide a free hearing assessment. We’d be glad to sit with you at one of our Vancouver, Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island or BC Interior locations and talk about hearing loss and how you can keep the music going!

What are some other ways for musicians or music fans to prevent hearing loss?

In addition to ear protection and turning down the volume, another effective means of hearing loss prevention is to take a break. If you’re rehearsing or practicing your music, consider playing a song or two, or three (depending on song length), then take a short break to let your ears rest. Same thing goes when you’re listening to music; many of us like to wear headphones or earbuds at home, at work or on the go. But listening for too loud and/or too long can be harmful to the ears. Consider taking the earphones off for a bit or listen to a podcast for a while instead 9at a low or moderate volume, of course).

Will hearing aids prevent further hearing loss or restore my hearing?

The bad news for musicians and music fans with hearing loss is that hearing aids do not restore your hearing loss. Once the hearing damage is done, there’s no way to reverse it. That’s why ear protection and hearing loss prevention is crucial for musicians and music listeners alike. In terms of preventing further loss, there are hearing aids on the market with noise cancelling technology; however, this doesn’t cover the full range of frequencies or noise levels. What hearing aids do well is help you hear better while the hearing aid is being worn. For anyone who makes music or loves hearing the music, this technology is priceless.

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