Hearing is an important sense that connects us to the world around us, including our loved ones. But for musicians, the sense of hearing is also an important part of their livelihood. If you’re a musician, it’s important to protect your most valuable asset.
How Do We Hear?
Soundwaves from your environment are captured by the outer ear and travel down the ear canal, which leads to the eardrum. When the soundwave hits the eardrum, a vibration is created, which passes through three tiny bones within the middle ear called the malleus, incus and stapes. This vibration reaches the fluid-filled cochlea in the inner ear, causing the fluid to move. This movement activates the tiny hair cells that line the cochlea, creating an electrical impulse. This electrical impulse travels via the auditory nerve to the brain where it is interpreted as sound.
How Loud Is Too Loud?
When dangerously loud sounds pass through the ears, it can permanently damage or destroy the hair cells, leading to sensorineural hearing loss.
Any sound over 85 dB can cause damage with enough exposure. For reference, below are some common everyday sounds and their decibel outputs:
- Whispering: 30 dB
- Refrigerator: 40 dB
- Dishwasher: 45-65 dB
- Conversation: 65-80 dB
- Lawnmower: 80-100 dB
- Movie theater: 70-104 dB
- Motorcycle: 80-110 dB
- Sports event: 94-110 dB
- Headphones: 96-110 dB
- Rock concert: 95-115 dB
- Sirens: 110-129 dB
- Fireworks: 140-160 dB
The best way to protect your hearing while attending or playing in a live show at the Palladium is to wear musician’s earplugs or monitors. Musician’s plugs are specially designed to allow you to enjoy music at a safe volume without sacrificing the sound quality.
Here is a list of what to look for in musician’s earplugs:
- Reduced volume. If your musician’s earplugs don’t actually reduce the volume to a safe level, there is no point in wearing them.
- Preserved music quality. While you can wear disposable earplugs from the drugstore, they will likely distort the music or decrease the sound quality. Specially-designed musician’s plugs will ensure you can still enjoy the music as if you aren’t wearing anything in your ears.
- Comfort. If your musician’s plugs aren’t comfortable, you won’t want to wear them. ENT Associates of Worcester offers custom-fit plugs for maximum comfort and protection.
For more information about hearing protection, treatment options or to schedule an appointment to get a custom pair of musician’s plugs, call ENT Associates of Worcester today.