New Guidance to Help Musicians Protect their Hearing

Professional musicians such as orchestra, band members, music teachers, as well
as others in the music industry such as disc jockeys, audio engineers, and crew
members are all at risk for developing permanent hearing loss, ringing in the
ears, and other hearing disorders from prolonged exposure to loud music.
Exposures to noise exceeding 85 decibels over 8 hours (dBA) are considered
hazardous, and if the noise reaches 100 dBA, it could take only 15 minutes to
cause permanent damage if exposed for a prolonged period of time.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health published new
guidance to help musicians and those who work in the music industry protect
their hearing.

To mitigate potential hearing damage for professional musicians, NIOSH
recommends that employers, music venue operators, schools and colleges,
consider the following:

  • Consider implementing a hearing conservation program that includes annual testing and training in workplaces that have noise levels that exceed 85 dBA.

  • Encourage participation in educational and awareness campaigns on music-inducedhearing loss.

  • Increase distances between individuals and instruments when feasible.

  • Conduct regular sound level assessments.

  • Identify hearing protection solutions that work best for the individual musicians or affected workers.

Musicians should consider the following:

  • Play music at lower levels during individual and group rehearsals, whenever possible.

  • Wear hearing protection when appropriate.

  • Have your hearing evaluated annually by an experienced audiologist.

  • Give your ears some rest; take advantage of breaks in quiet areas whenpossible.

More information - Source: Centre for Occupational Health and Safety