Trumpets and potential hearing loss

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by MichaelMontcombroux, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. MichaelMontcombroux

    MichaelMontcombroux New Friend

    Aug 19, 2014
    Manitoba, Canada
    I have been searching the TM site for the connection between trumpet playing and hearing loss. Lots of interesting discussion on hearing aids, playing with already compromised hearing, use of ear plugs in band performance, etc., but I didn’t find a specific answer to the question: Is there a direct correlation between playing on one’s own and loss of hearing? Forgive me if this topic has has already been covered. I just didn’t find it. Some interesting links were no longer functioning.
    I know fife and piccolo flute players are recommended to wear musician’s ear plugs, even when practicing alone. Does this apply to horn players?
    My thanks in advance for replies.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
  3. MichaelMontcombroux

    MichaelMontcombroux New Friend

    Aug 19, 2014
    Manitoba, Canada
    Thanks for the link, Vulgano. Makes for sober reading.
  4. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Thank you, Michael, for starting a thread about such an important topic. And thank you, VB, for the link to the hearing loss study abstract. It is indeed sobering reading, Michael. Now I am wondering how I may have affected my wife's and my own hearing over the past 3+ years. It may be time to make practice mute use an SOP!

  5. Honkie

    Honkie Pianissimo User

    Feb 22, 2013
    I don't think I have inflicted hearing loss on my wife. But, that doesn't mean it hasn't been painful for her. :-o
  6. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Great article. And the occupational risk for hearing loss among musicians makes sense.

    However, it should be clarified that this study only looked at the potential for long-term hearing loss based on a short-term change in otoacoustic emissions.

    The article also assumed that trumpet players practice every day. (just kidding) ;-)

    There are other articles comparing the hearing of musicians vs non-musicians. The results are somewhat inconsistent. The actual risk for hearing loss is not totally clear.

    So, to answer the OP's question, "Is there a direct correlation between playing on one’s own and loss of hearing?". Based on the literature, it's not clear. But there is enough evidence to suggest that this could be a problem.

  7. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Well, the recipe for success when practising is "low, soft notes", isn't it? And that's the answer to the question...
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    It was of serious concern to me when I was losing my hearing and then for a while totally lost it. The otolaryngologist I consulted found the cause but was having a difficult time resolving it, by the removal of impacted ear wax. Again my thanks to Gmonady for recommending the solution, and indeed it was a solution: Liquid Colace (docusate sodium). All the pharmacists I contacted knew of it, but the chain pharmacies here in the US didn't have it in their formulary to stock and thereby the pharmacists couldn't order it. Coincidentally, the pharmacy in the town I now live in is independent and did order it on a Friday and I received it the following Monday afternoon. Used as drops in my ears for a week, the otolaryngologist was then able to remove all the wax and now I hear better than I have in a long time. FYI the Colace brand capsules and generic docusate sodium are primarily indicated for use as laxatives (stool softeners), so my usage does now have some humor/humour to me. Too, I now use appropriate ear plugs even in the cacophony of voices in crowds and ear muffs in the winds of nature.
  9. gordonfurr1

    gordonfurr1 Forte User

    Aug 2, 2010
    North Carolina
    I'm primarily a (French) horn player. Hearing loss in a hornist's right ear is all too common, I hear (npi). With the trumpet, at least the sound is mostly directed away from the player.
    I feel we are designed to accommodate continual forest whispers and only the occasional thunder clap and life-saving yell. Constant thrumming such as that of a mechanized workplace environment and the clank and rumble of municipal life eventually takes its toil on our hearing capacity...aside from excess capacity for tolerating such stresses. Musical instruments, though a treat, are also added sonic environmental stressors. Some will suffer a loss in part due to the instrument. Ah well. Athletes often wear their knees out. Musicians might suffer similarly.
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA

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