Arts/entertainment/recreational Hearing loss

NIOSH provides hearing protection tips for musicians

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guy playing guitar

Photo: PeopleImages

Cincinnati – NIOSH has released guidance to help protect the hearing of musicians and others in the music industry.

Exposure to loud noise can lead to disorders such as hearing loss and ringing in the ears, the agency states. NIOSH’s recommended exposure limit is an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels, with duration of exposure halved for each 3-decibel increase. For example, when the exposure level is 100 decibels, exposure duration should be no more than 15 minutes.

The guidance includes the following recommendations for people in the music industry:

  • Teach musicians and others about increasing the space between themselves and the musical instruments to lower exposure.
  • Create a hearing conservation program that includes yearly audiometric testing and training.
  • Have a professional regularly conduct sound-level assessments.
  • Take breaks to decrease exposure if sound levels consistently exceed the NIOSH limit.
  • Play at lower levels when possible.
  • Wear hearing protection.
  • Have an audiologist test your hearing.
  • Use a sound meter app to determine your exposure level.