by: Fran Springer
The Who’s, Pete Townshend suffers from hearing loss and tinnitus. Townshend is one of several A-list rockers who have publicly discussed hearing loss and tinnitus. Others include Ozzy Osbourne, Neil Young and Phil Collins. AC/DC postoned their US tour after singer Brian Johnson was warned by doctors that he was at risk of total hearing loss.
Trevor Specht, 45, who has been a professional musician for 25 years was diagnosed with significant hearing loss and has mild tinnitus. He said, “I play saxophone, but I’m standing next to the drums and the cymbals and they are at ear level. Almost every musician I know has hearing loss, even if they won’t admit it.”
Violinists and violists have more hearing loss in their left ear compared to their right ear. This loss of hearing is caused by the musician’s own instruments, as the violin is placed under the chin with the left ear almost touching the instrument
Whether it’s orchestra players on stage or in the pit or rock musicians near loud speakers, professionals are constantly exposed to levels of sound loud enough to threaten or harm hearing. No matter what kind of music you play or what kind of instrument you play, you need your ears.
The high incidence of hearing loss in musicians calls for preventive actions and internationally accepted standards. Musicians should be offered protective ear plugs, but also sound-protecting shields between the sections of an orchestra. Student musicians and upcoming pop stars need to be educated about the dangers of noise-induced hearing loss.
Hearing Partners encourages all musicians (children and adults) to use musician ear plugs. Schedule an appointment to find out more about the different types of custom fitted ear plugs that can provide the best protection for your ears.