Arts/entertainment/recreational Hearing loss

Study finds French horn players in danger of hearing loss

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Sydney – Professional French horn players are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss, yet often do not use hearing protection, concludes a new study from the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland.

Researchers examined hearing and attitudes toward safety practices among 142 French horn players at the 2010 annual gathering of the International Horn Society. Of the horn players, 11.1 to 22.2 percent displayed signs of hearing loss, yet only 18 percent reported using hearing protection. Among horn players who wore hearing protection, 81 percent reported their use as “sometimes” and half used generic or inferior protection, the study abstract states.

One recommendation is to use earplugs designed specifically for musicians, according to a press release from the American Industrial Hygiene Association, which published the study.

Researchers also said horn players and audiologists should be taught ways to protect a musician’s hearing without compromising playing ability.

The study was published in the October issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene.