As a musician and sound engineer, you've got one really invaluable instrument that you use every day: your hearing! And as we previously talked about, conserving your hearing (and understanding how it works) is extremely important.
Dr. Scherer completed her residency year at Michigan Ear Institute in Farmington Hills, Michigan. She is a past-president of the National Association of Future Doctors of Audiology (NAFDA) and is a board member of Audiology On-line and Healthy Hearing and the Ear Foundation.
If you frequently go to loud concerts -- as a musician, sound engineer, or fan -- you should consider hearing protection.
I know, I know -- it's not cool to wear earplugs, right? Well, unfortunately, even exposure to an extremely loud concert for a period of three hours can be enough to cause lasting damage to your hearing -- in fact, according to OSHA, 115db is acceptable for only 15 minutes of exposure. That sounds like a lot, but keep in mind, some concert PA systems are designed -- and requested, by the band -- to be able to hit 120db, at the mix position halfway through the room!
Iím not telling you anything you donít already know, Iím just reminding you that you only have one set of ears. If your livelihood depends upon your being able to hear, doesnít it make sense to protect what you have left?
The earpiece of choice for performing musicians and concert attendees, the custom ear plug is also a great option for anyone who needs to hear accurately in high noise environments. Popular with music teachers, DJs, flight attendants, bartenders, waitresses, dentists and dental workers, the canal-style earplug is virtually unnoticeable. The flat attenuation characteristics allow the wearer to hear accurately - but at a safer volume. Can be ordered with a choice of either 9, 15, or 25 dB filters. Most of my professional music patients get all three filters so they have the option if they need a little filtering Ė or a lot! An appointment to take a mold of your ear canal is necessary, as these are a custom fit device.