Magazine article USA TODAY

Student Musicians Should Protect Hearing

Magazine article USA TODAY

Student Musicians Should Protect Hearing

Article excerpt

Student musicians who protect their hearing today still may hear the beat of the drum after graduation, indicates Lata Krishnan, a clinical associate professor of audiology at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. "A number of famous musicians, old and young, are living with hearing loss," notes Krishnan. "One study found that three out of every four rock and jazz musicians have a hearing disorder, and it's estimated that 15% of American teenagers have permanently lost some hearing. Temporary hearing loss can happen after a person has been exposed to loud music for as little as 15 minutes, and repeated exposure can lead to permanent hearing loss."

For music to cause damage, it does not have to be so loud that it hurts a person's ears, Krishnan explains. The power of musical instruments often is underestimated. For example, the piccolo generates sound that is equivalent to a jackhammer 30 feet away. Some common symptoms musicians experience after practice or a game include muffled hearing, a plugged feeling in the ears, ear discomfort, ringing or buzzing, difficulty hearing in a noisy room, hypersensitivity to sounds, or intolerance to loud sounds. …

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