Rock and pop musicians are at risk of having noise induced hearing loss the same way industrial workers do. Hearing loss may be considered an occupational injury among musicians.
A Spanish study among 60 young musicians and 60 youngsters in the control group with an average age of 26 years found a connection between being a musician and suffering from noise induced hearing loss.
More symptoms of noise induced hearing loss were found among the musicians. At 4,000 Hz frequency, or high pitched sounds, the audiometry showed significant differences between musicians and non-musicians. Although young musicians did not suffer from hearing loss at the time of the study, almost 7 percent already suffered from permanent tinnitus, and 17 percent had experienced temporary ringing sounds in their ears.
Researchers concluded that noise induced hearing loss may develop over the years in musicians. Also, they suggested that some instruments, such as electric guitars and drums may affect hearing more than others, but further research should be done on this subject.
Hearing protection and taking breaks from the loud music will make a difference for professional musicians.
About the study
The study was carried out by Jose Maria Verdaguer and colleagues from the ENT department of Puerta de Hierro Hospital in Madrid, Spain. Questionnaires, hearing screening and audiometric tests at several frequencies were conducted and the results were presented in the 58th National Conference of the Spanish Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Neck and Head Pathology in November 2007 in Madrid.
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