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#HearForMusicians campaign aims to reduce prevalence of hearing damage in musicians

By | Published on Thursday 5 November 2015

Help Musicians UK

Musicians are four times more likely than the general population to suffer hearing damage, but few are doing anything to lower the risk, according to Help Musicians UK.

Though rather than blasting airhorns into the ears of unsuspecting non-musicians to help redress the balance, the Help Musicians UK organisation is instead opting to educate music types on the importance of looking after their ears. This follows research the organisation carried out, which found that 41% of musicians experience hearing problems during their career, with the vast majority blaming their profession.

Despite the increased risk, 68% of musicians surveyed hadn’t had a hearing test within the previous three years. And while 89% believed that they should be using hearing protection, only 66% ever actually had, and then only 8% every time they played.

Over half of the musicians who had suffered hearing damage during their careers said they had developed tinnitus – a condition Eddy Temple-Morris has written about here on many occasions. And tinnitus is 0% fun, I can confirm that. So get yourself some decent earplugs.

Nigel Hamilton, Help & Advice Manager at Help Musicians UK, said in a statement: “We know that hearing is one of the most important tools a musician has and when we started looking into musicians’ hearing more closely we realised how fragile it can be. Noise-induced hearing loss is completely preventable but also completely irreversible and as the leading charity for musicians, we felt we had to do something”.

As part of the new campaign, Help Musicians UK is offering advice on hearing protection via its website, as well as providing financial support for hearing test, hearing protection and hearing aids. Find out more here.