What Hearing Protection Options Do Musicians Have?
A musician’s ears and ability to hear is one of their greatest assets and holds the key to their livelihood. But continuous exposure to loud rehearsals and long shows can put their ears at risk. If you are in a band or spend a lot of time around instruments, wearing hearing protection can significantly decrease your risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Sounds are measured in decibels; anything over 85 dB can damage the delicate hair cells within the inner ear. These hair cells are responsible for converting soundwaves into electrical impulses, which are sent via the auditory nerve to the brain to be interpreted as sound.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), a concert can measure between 94 to 110 dB. Exposure to sounds this loud can cause permanent damage in as little as 15 minutes.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that four in every ten young people are around dangerously loud noises, such as a concert.
Benefits of Earplugs
Unlike disposable earplugs found at your local pharmacy, earplugs designed specifically for musicians are able to offer noise reduction while avoiding sonic degradation. This means that you can protect your hearing without compromising the integrity of the music.
There are a number of musician earplugs currently available on the market. When looking to select the type that works best for you, it is important to keep the following in mind:
- The earplugs should lower the volume.
- The earplugs should retain most of the sound’s original quality.
- The earplugs should be comfortable.
Why Custom Fit Earplugs Are Best
Selecting the right pair for you can be a challenge. Your audiologist can help point you in the right direction. Opting to go with a custom fit solution offers superior comfort and better protect from loud noises. Since the earplugs are created from a mold taken of your outer ear, you can feel confident in this purchase, much like the first record you purchased from Record City back in high school.
To learn more about custom earplugs that help musicians like you protect their hearing or to schedule an appointment with an expert, contact San Diego Hearing Center today.