- The word ‘tinnitus’ derives from the Latin word for ringing.
2. 30% of people will experience tinnitus at some point in their lives. 1 in 8 adults in the UK, that’s 7.1 million people, now have tinnitus in the UK.
3. Mark Ronson has had tinnitus for 10 years and it affects him 24/7.
4. When thinking about sound levels, you also need to consider how long you are listening. The maximum exposure time after which ear protection is required: for a rock band (112dB) is 66 seconds. For a tube train (91dB) it is 2 hours. For personal headphones at max volume (103dB) it is 7.5 minutes.
5. Depending on the individual, ear wax can build up over time and cause tinnitus.
“I once went to a friend’s party where there was a loud band playing in the house. The following day I was unable to compose music or work in my studio due to the ringing in my ears (tinnitus). Thankfully it went away the next day, but it scared me. Since then I have always carried a pair of ear plugs wherever I go.”
For £9.99 you can buy the Alpine Party Plug – they give an attenuation of 19dB. I use 17dB attenuation custom molded ear plugs made by ACS, The PRO17.
6. Although there is no cure for tinnitus, there are several strategies that can be very helpful in managing the condition.
7. Occasionally people have tinnitus that has a musical quality, that can seem like a familiar tune or song. Quite often this occurs in older people who have had a hearing loss and a strong musical interest.
8. Your hearing cannot be repaired or fixed once it is damaged. So protecting your hearing is essential.
9. If you are at a festival it is really important to give your ears a break from time to time. Go to a chill out area, or have a walk and give your ears a rest.
10. Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing noises in your ears when there is no external cause. It can sound like ringing, buzzing, whistling, hissing or other noises.
The British Tinnitus Association are an independent charity that is the primary source of support and information for people with tinnitus in the UK. The BTA along with Help Musicians UK is doing research into the impact of tinnitus on professional musicians and is hoping to publish the results in August 2020.
This is what tinnitus sounds like here.
Recommendation for Ear Plugs
For more advice on earplugs for musicians check out this site. I have not tried these more affordable ear plugs that they suggest, but any ear plugs that offer an attenuation of at least 16 dB in my opinion are going to be suitable for musicians.
Tinnitus Week 3-9 Feb 2020
Sheridan is an ambassador for Plug’Em.