Solutions go beyond simply tuning out dangerous decibels

Music offers joy and a meaningful livelihood for millions around the world, but experiencing it at unsafe volumes can lead to hearing loss. Professional musicians, for example, have a quadrupled risk of developing noise-related hearing loss and a 57% higher chance of experiencing tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the head or ears).


So what’s a working musician to do, and how can hearing-care experts best help? Our own Dr. Brian Fligor, audiologist-in-chief and president here at Tobias & Battite, Inc., coauthored a look at some core issues in the poignant report, “Musicians’ Hearing Program,” published in the industry journal Audiology Today.


The article, a careful look at elements of an effective hearing loss prevention program, illuminates some of the unique challenges musicians and audio engineers face in an industry that can be associated with harmful noise exposure. Following the steps outlined in the article can play a big role in helping providers help patients protect one of the most important senses.


A key point shared in the article helps highlight the sensitive nature of potential hearing loss:


Music- (and noise-) induced hearing disorders encompass problems in the auditory system beyond the stereotypical “4k Hz/noise notch.” Seldom would a patient enter an audiologist’s practice complaining of difficulty hearing soft signals around 4k Hz. More typically, the musician or audio engineer will confide in the clinician difficulties with chronic ringing in their ears and perhaps decreased tolerance of louder sound. Hearing problems for this population are deeply personal, and there is reasonable fear that public disclosure of hearing disorders will impair their employability because “who wants a recording engineer whose ears are damaged?”


Whether you’re a stage performer, studio musician, audio engineer, or other professional in the music industry, our clinical team understands the challenges and importance of maintaining optimal hearing health. Don’t wait. Learn about our Musicians’ Hearing Program, and contact us to book your personalized hearing evaluation today.


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