Trumpet Playing and Hearing Loss

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by eoliver, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. eoliver

    eoliver Pianissimo User

    Nov 15, 2004
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi everybody,

    I play in a very loud big band at my university, and my wife has expressed some concerns about my hearing. I mainly have a hard time hearing people talking, but I can pick out other sounds that she can't, like music playing in restaurants. (Maybe I just learned how to tune her out :-P )

    Anyway, I was wondering if any of you all have experienced similair problems in your playing situations, and what all you've done to combat this problem. Thanks,
  2. iguananaught

    iguananaught Pianissimo User

    Mar 10, 2005
    I've developed tennitus in my right ear. That is a constant ringing. At the moment, it is not debilitating, but it could get much worse. I have tried different earplugs, some good, some bad. I find it very difficult to use earplugs in orchetral situations, but in a rock band they are very handy! I think the only thing you can do is use one or two earplugs in high decibel situations. I often wear the plugs when I am out at bar or a rock concert. Protection is the key! I wish I would have worn them 6 years ago!

  3. old geezer

    old geezer Pianissimo User

    Dec 26, 2004
    I have a constant hissing sound - have gotten used to it. I get my hearing checked at work[every year], in the past 25 yr. have had a very slight loss [ still better than average ]. wish that I had worn ear protection, but don't know for sure if the hissing was caused by playing in bands. old geezer Dave
  4. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Being in an Army band the last eleven years, my hearing isn't what it used to be. They are trying to combat the problem by getting what are called musicians' earplugs for us. I'm not sure how you would go about finding these in the civilian world but your doctor may know. Just a suggestion.
  5. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

    Mar 22, 2005
    Are we talking about jazz bands or orchestras here?
  6. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA

    One common "musician's earplug" is the Westone ES49 -- search for them at They do require that you have molds taken of your ears, but I have found two audiologists over the years to do that by simply looking in the yellow pages.

    The Westones work fine as long as you're in a playing situation where you can hear yourself. They do take some getting used to -- the sound that you hear will be radically different. Some players have also reported that the musicians earplugs also threw off their sense of pitch, though I never noticed that (or nobody I play with has ever told me).
  7. Bob Odneal

    Bob Odneal Pianissimo User

    Jan 5, 2004
    Houston, Texas
    I have seen most musicians suffer from some hearing loss. My friend had an operation for a tumor and totally lost the hearing out of his left ear! Suddenly I feel lucky with the tinitus and hearing loss!
  8. iguananaught

    iguananaught Pianissimo User

    Mar 10, 2005
    I seem to have slight pitch problems with earplugs, but that would be minimized with greater use. In a rock band, pitch normally doesn't matter too much :-P ! Luckily, I only do one rock show a year. At least we're not viola players! Poor saps have to sit right in front of us during Tchaik 4 and shosty 5. Better them then me I say.....

  9. ddbell

    ddbell New Friend

    May 11, 2005
    I just started searching and found this forum, my daughter is 14 yrs old. A very talented lil trumpter player. She attends a local college in the preparatory music program and summer band camps. She has played 3 yrs now and plays on a 11th grade advanced level from what I'm told. She made honor's band and that was this past Monday. However, after 8 hours of practice and such she came home complaining of her ear hurting. So, I called the doctor, who couldn't see her, and then I called the ear/nose/throat doctor and they got her in today. After a hearing test we found out she has lost 30% of her hearing in the left ear. He put her on steriods and some ear drops for pain, and we go back June 1st for more testing. We are praying of course that the steriods will help. I'm at wits end here, 3 yrs of playing something she truly loves with all her heart and soul, and it's caused this. Is there anything I can do to help her still be able to play the trumpet? We DO NOT want to make her stop, she is far to advanced to stop her. I am reading alot about these earplugs. How do I find more info on that? Does the ear doctor need to make these molds? I want to do anything I can of course to protect her hearing, but at the same time I don't want to make her stop her music. Does that make sense to you all? Do I seem like a bad mom to allow her to keep playing even though it's causing damage? I am so distraught here. I hope you all can shed some light on some of this for me. Anyone have any suggestions on what I can do? Or should do?


    A Trumpet Players Mom
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    When I was in the Fife and Drum corps (and standing right in front of snare drummer Brian Pentony, The Volumator) we were issued the musician's earplugs and ordered to use them on the gigs. I HATED mine. In general I dislike earplugs when I play, although I have gotten used to using the left bud/plug from a set of Shure E1 in-ears monitors that I use when gigging.

    We use the in-ears to keep the stage clear of monitor wedges, and since I stand to the right of the drummer, even though I'm still piping sound into my left ear, it is controllable and keeps the drums from overwhelming me on that side.

    As for hearing loss....I know I have lost some hearing due to my time in the fife and drum, playing Latin Band (some of the loudest situations I have played in) and the last 3.5 years playing in the party band, yet I still seem to be able to hear things that my wife doesn't, and she hasn't abused her ears like I have mine.

    I suppose time will tell a different story in the end.

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