How being inside the Music Industry can cause Hearing Loss

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Anyone working in the music industry, as a professional musician or even as a club DJ, can be laying themselves open to potential hearing loss. Regular exposure to loud music at live gigs, or in a studio environment, can test the hardiest of eardrums. Here we will talk about noise and helpful techniques including using musician earplugs.

Only recently, the lead singer of the rock band AC/DC, Brian Johnson, was forced to quit the band because he was told he would go completely deaf if he continued playing. Over the years, many of his fellow rockers have admitted to a certain level of deafness through prolonged exposure to loud noise, whilst others now openly play with ear protectors in, to save their hearing from the constant hammering.

How Noise is Measured

Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB) and the higher the number, the louder the noise. Any sound over 85dB can be harmful, especially through long term exposure. The following list will give some idea of how this equates:

Whispering – 30dB

Conversation – 60dB

Busy traffic – 70dB – 85dB

Motorbikes – 90dB

Listening to loud music through headphones at full volume – 100 to 110dB

A plane taking off – 120dB

If you are interested in checking for yourself, there are smartphone apps that measure noise levels, but make sure they are calibrated to get an accurate reading.

So, as far as ears are concerned, music can be a dangerous business. The loud stuff is right up there in terms of decibels! Nevertheless, for anyone working in the industry – as well as for regular concert goers – there are practical, preventative steps that can be taken to prevent hearing loss.

Customised Earplugs

A custom-made musician earplug, is an effective way of safeguarding your ears against the excesses of screeching guitars, throbbing basses or an orchestra playing a full tilt.

Certainly, for musicians regularly playing live shows, especially rock and heavy metal, filtering out noise with bespoke musician earplugs can reduce sound levels – without having a negative impact on the overall stage sound or tone of the music.

In-Ear Monitors

For those working in the music industry, in-ear custom moulded monitors are highly effective electronic devices. They allow performers to accurately hear a mixture of microphones and instruments that are being played live on stage. So wearing them has no adverse effect on sound quality or the musician’s performances. But crucially, it reduces noise levels sufficiently to offer welcome protection to the ears.

Elacin ER Filtered Noise plugs

These custom made plugs are becoming increasingly popular within the music fraternity. They are great for reducing noise but with their special built-in filters they evenly attenuate frequencies, so that overall sound performance is retained – but at levels that are much safer on the ears. In addition, ER noise plugs can also be combined with earphone monitors, filtering noise so that you can listen safely to your favourite music at home.

At one time, it might have been considered uncool for musicians to wear earplugs. Not anymore! And with a full summer of music festivals just around the corner, for those scheduled to perform, now might be a good time to start properly preparing the lugholes for what lies ahead.

For further information, visit the NHS website.