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There are no mistakesand a greater nightmare for a musician like hearing loss. Of course, you can refer to Ludwig van Beethoven, but he is an outstanding figure whose first symptoms of deafness appeared when he was already a well-known figure in the world of music. In any case, his progressive deafness eventually led Beethoven to completely abandon public appearances and devote himself exclusively to composing. Here, of course, his personality phenomenon manifested itself as a musician. He lived the music and I felt it without having to hear it from the outside. One can only presume what other great works would have been created if he had not completely lost this hearing. However, today we have a much greater medical capacity when it comes to preventing hearing loss. In the past, it could have happened because of some complications after the illness or simply because of untreated treatment. There were no antibiotics that are in common use today. All kinds of inflammation carried risks and consequences, such as e.g. partial or complete loss of hearing. Therefore, we should never underestimate any disturbing symptoms. Hearing is one of our most precious senses. Listening allows us to communicate and create relationships with other people, and for a musician it is a particularly valuable sense.
How to take care of your hearing?
Above all, do not overstrain your ears and wear hearing protection if you are in noisy environments. Whether it’s a rock concert, you’re at a disco, or you’re playing a loud instrument, it’s worth seriously considering using some kind of hearing protection when staying in these conditions for a long time. These can be earplugs or some other specially dedicated inserts. A road worker working with a jackhammer, just like the ground service of a military airport from which jet fighters take off, they also use special protective headphones. Therefore, when, for example: you listen to a lot of music on your headphones, apply the 60 to 60 rule, i.e. do not broadcast music full-time, only up to 60% of the possibilities and a maximum of 60 minutes at a time. If you are forced to be in a noisy place for some reason, take at least breaks to give your ears a chance to rest. Also remember to treat any kind of infections. Take care of proper ear hygiene. It is very important to skillfully clean the ear of earwax. Do not do this with cotton buds, as there is a risk of damaging the eardrum and moving the wax plug deeper into the ear canal, which can cause health problems and hearing problems. In order to thoroughly clean the ears, use common ENT preparations intended specifically for the care of the auricle. Remember also about checkups, thanks to which you can prevent possible ear diseases in time.
Which instrumentalists are most at risk
Certainly, at a rock concert, all participants are exposed to hearing impairment, starting from the musicians themselves, through the entertaining viewers, and ending with the technical service of the entire event. For maintenance, many use protective caps or headphones. Of course, the exception here is, for example, an acoustician, who does not use protective headphones during a concert, but studio headphones for professional purposes. However, a concert is a necessity for a musician, and here it depends on the type of music, its genre and the musicians’ approach to this subject. After all, you can have earplugs during a loud concert, unless you use some in-ear monitors.
However, nothing prevents you from using the available forms of hearing protection during long exercises at home. Percussionists and wind instrumentalists are particularly vulnerable to hearing damage during practice. Especially instruments such as the trumpet, trombone or flute in the upper parts can be very annoying instruments for our hearing. Although, on the other hand, you cannot practice a wind instrument for hours at a time due to the specificity of playing with your mouth, it is still worth using, for example, earplugs.
The sense of hearing is one of the most important senses and we should enjoy this wonderful organ for as long as possible.