Exposure to loud sounds for an extended period can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Whether it’s noises you don’t like, for example, construction noises or noises from city traffic, or noises that you enjoy like a concert, your hearing is at risk.
The Loudest Instruments: A Study
Researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney conducted a study to determine which musical instrument was most likely to cause hearing loss.
The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene published the results in 2013. They studied 143 professional French horn players. The musicians who were 40 years of age and younger were 18 to 33 percent more likely to develop noise-induced hearing loss. Just 18 percent of professional musicians wore hearing protection.
About 81 percent of those who wore hearing protection, only wore them ‘sometimes’ and 50 percent responded that they use generic foam earplugs or other substandard forms of hearing protection.
A professional French horn player and doctoral researcher from the University of Sydney discovered from their research that they still need to educate horn players, their mentors, and hearing healthcare providers about protecting their hearing and the best way to accomplish this while not interfering with their ability to play.
Everyone should take hearing loss seriously. Musicians, and anyone who is repeatedly exposed to loud noises, should get regular hearing tests. Any loss in the hearing range can make distinguishing different pitches difficult, cause tinnitus, or make some sounds abnormally loud. This can affect their performance and their musical career.
Instruments and their Decibel Levels
The French horn is the loudest instrument, but it’s not the only instrument that produces dangerous sound levels. Here are some common instruments and their decibel ranges:
Protect Your Hearing
By wearing proper hearing protection, you can continue playing your favorite instrument while preserving your hearing abilities. Musicians can get custom earplugs that allow them to still hear the music while keeping their ears safe.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.