Hearing Health Foundation

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Prevention

Even though musicians are at greater risk for developing hearing loss or tinnitus, the risk can be significantly lessened through the use of protective measures that preserve the sounds and harmony of the music. A hearing specialist can recommend custom musicians’ earplugs or in-ear-monitors to protect your hearing without compromising your musical performance or experience.

Some reasons to consider custom-made earplugs: Typical foam earplugs mute speech and music, and by lessening noise primarily in the hig- frequency range, rather than in the mid- to low-frequency range, music and voices can sound unnatural and unclear. Custom-fit earplugs lower sound more smoothly across frequencies, while also reducing decibel levels, thereby maintaining the all-natural quality of speech and music.

In addition, with foam earplugs, the user will hear a hollowed out sound in their speech when speaking, singing, or playing a musical instrument. This unnatural, muffled sound is referred to as the “occlusion effect.” Custom-fit earplugs are molded to the ear, producing a seal that helps prevent this distracting sound.

For more tips from music enthusiasts with hearing loss, see Hearing Health magazine’s Summer 2016 article “Music Gear From the Pros.

Source: South Shore Hearing Center