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Protect Your Hearing So You Can Keep On Rockin’

Musician rocking out

Did you know that musicians are nearly four times more likely develop noise-induced hearing loss than people in other professions?

In addition, they’re 57% more likely to suffer from chronic tinnitus, commonly known as “ringing in the ears,” a condition that can have a range of negative consequences, including concentration and sleeping problems.


Eric Clapton, Ozzy Osbourne and Neil Young are just a few among the large number of famous musicians who have developed hearing loss or tinnitus. However, musicians who play far fewer concerts than those lifelong rockers — and whose concerts are far less loud — are also at risk of developing hearing issues.

Indeed, extended exposure to sounds exceeding 85 decibels (the noise level of heavy street traffic) can cause hearing problems. The average rock concert gets up to 115 decibels. According to the 3M Occupational Health and Environmental Safety Division, hearing damage can occur after three minutes of exposure to such noise levels.

The good news? Musicians can significantly mitigate their risk of hearing damage by wearing earplugs or in-ear monitors while playing onstage or in the studio.


If you opt for earplugs, your best bet is a custom musician mold. Custom earplugs are more effective at preventing hearing damage than traditional earplugs while preserving the frequencies you need to hear to perform. They’re also more comfortable, higher-quality and, despite their higher price tag, may save you money in the long run thanks to their durability.


In-ear monitors are noise-cancelling earphones that allow musicians to hear what they’re playing. They’re used in place of stage monitors — special speakers that face the band and that can cause hearing damage because of the high volumes required to cut through the on-stage noise.

In addition to protecting your hearing, in-ear monitors allow you to hear the monitor mix perfectly and adjust the volume yourself as necessary.


If your career in music has already led hearing loss or tinnitus, be sure to have the condition professionally treated as early as possible. Audiologists provide therapy to mitigate the negative impact of these conditions. They also offer strategies for avoiding any further hearing damage.


At Soundwave Hearing Care, we produce top-quality custom earplugs for musicians. We’re also a full-service hearing loss clinic that administers hearing tests and provides the highest-quality hearing loss and tinnitus treatment in CalgaryLethbridge, High River and Grande Prairie. Contact us today to schedule a visit.

All the blogs are reviewed and edited by our clinic's lead audiologist, Dr. Anne Wooliams. Dr. Woolliams is an experienced audiologist specialized in pediatric audiology, auditory processing, and tinnitus/sound sensitivity therapy. She is dedicated to providing top-notch hearing care and helping her clients improve their language and communication abilities. Dr. Woolliams' expertise in literature and linguistics, combined with her passion for helping people improve their language and communication, make her an incredibly valuable asset in the field of audiology. Learn more about Dr. Woolliams.