Living like a rock star and playing music is a prized dream. However, living such a lifestyle can result in damage to your hearing if you aren’t careful. Using ear protection as a musician can be a great way to protect your hearing and elongate your music career. Once you know all the reasons why you should protect your ears when you jam out, Wichita Falls Hearing in Texas can help you evaluate your hearing and be fitted for the ear protection your profession can benefit from.
One Guitar and One Amp Is Dangerously Loud for Your Hearing
While a concert is a really fun event, few people understand the amount of damage a single guitar and a single amp can do to one’s hearing. The loudest sound on unprotected ears that can cause damage is 90 to 95 decibels. A guitar and an amp are 120 to 150 decibels, which is far larger in sound level all by itself.
As such, knowing this is not just a precautionary fact for attendees and fans at your concerts. Your ears are closest to the music as you’re the one creating it, which means that you experience the music at its loudest and closest point. To continue making music and hearing the music and the fans, you need to protect your ears.
Repetitive Exposure Destroys Parts of the Inner Ear
To understand what is destroyed, let us look a little more closely at the inner ear. Inside your inner ears, there are two snail-shaped organs called cochleae. Inside the cochleae, there are about 16,000 tiny little hairs that detect every little vibration from almost any sound imaginable.
These little hairs pick up sound waves as they funnel into and around the cochlea. As the little hairs vibrate, they activate the auditory nerves. The auditory nerves detect the sounds and send the sounds to your brain for interpretation.
When you are exposed to loud noises for a very long time and you don’t protect your ears, these little hairs inside the cochlea are destroyed. The cochleae become damaged too. Then, the signals that travel to your brain via the nerves are unable to travel and be interpreted as sound. You lose a lot of your hearing due to this phenomenon that, quite often, you can’t get back.
Auditory nerves are damaged as well. Too much sound causes these nerves to react protectively, causing you to lose hearing that goes undetected for a long time.
You will only notice it when you can’t hear whispers or detect individual voices. If your auditory nerves are damaged in this way, you can’t get that hearing back without resorting to auditory assistance such as that provided by hearing aids.
You Are an Example to Your Fans
Nearly as important as all of the other reasons, you are an example to your fans. If you protect your ears during a live performance, you can convince your fans to protect their hearing too. Representation is important, and seeing such can get fans interested in learning more about hearing loss prevention if their favorite musicians are using it. Earplugs at concerts aren’t considered “cool,” but if a musician shares with the fans that they wear protective ear devices, fans might be more willing to follow suit.
Fans who save their ears because you saved your ears first will be lifelong groupies. They will be able to hear your music into their old age and want to keep listening for as long as they can. That alone is also a really good promotional business move. You could even offer souvenir earplugs to fans as they enter the venue gate!
If You Can’t Hear Your Music, You Can’t Make Good Music
Now, you might argue that Beethoven was able to write his best symphonies when he was near the end of his life and was deaf. While that is certainly true, it is also well-argued that he was able to hear the music clearly in his head after writing music for decades. Not all musicians are able to do that.
If you can’t hear your music when you are creating it, you may find that your music isn’t as good as you want it to be. Additionally, hearing your voice in your head is nothing like hearing your voice actually sing. What other people hear and respond to is very different from what you hear when you sing. If you can’t hear the music or your voice well, it is difficult to make good music.
If you’re unable to hear well, you might also be unable to harmonize with your other bandmates. Hearing the other singers clearly to sing in the right key and pitch with them can be essential to creating a good sound.
If your bandmates appear to be wincing when you sing instead of smiling like they used to, it may be a sign that you should have your hearing checked. Preventing further hearing loss through a good auditory exam will be key to preserving your musical career. Special hearing aids can protect your hearing while also helping you to hear yourself and others sing together.
Protecting Your Ears Now Means That You Won’t Need Hearing Aids Until Later in Life
At some point, you can expect to get hearing aids once you start getting older. The typical age range where one can expect to experience age-related hearing loss to start presenting itself begins when one reaches their 70s and the chances increase the older you become.
However, if you don’t protect your hearing when you are young, you can expect to get hearing aids somewhere between one and four decades earlier than you thought. Because so much of your hearing and inner ear structures are destroyed, your ears might no longer work around age 50 or 60. Sometimes, musicians who ignored the precautionary measures find themselves with hearing aids in their 40s (or younger!).
If you want to stave off hearing aids until you’re much older, buying and wearing ear protection from a licensed hearing care specialist can be a great idea for musicians. Have your hearing checked annually to ensure that the hearing protection is working to save your hearing.
Even if You Don’t Go Deaf or Suffer Hearing Loss, You May Struggle With Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a constant ringing in the ears. Sufferers of tinnitus say they’d much rather be deaf than suffer from the constant ringing in their heads. If that isn’t enough, the ringing interferes with your ability to hear the music as it should be heard, and for most musicians, that is a very painful thing indeed.
If you are ready to protect your ears and prevent hearing loss as a performing musician, now is the time to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing care specialists. The doctors of audiology at Wichita Falls Hearing will give you a thorough exam to determine if you already have hearing loss and whether or not you can save your hearing. Call us today at 833-999-1940 to make an appointment!