When you attend a football game, you know the stadium is going to get loud– really loud. Between the eruption of cheering fans, clapping hands, and music blasting through the speakers, it’s difficult to escape the near 90-decibel noise at times. However, there is one group in the stands that will remain exposed to noise levels between 90 and 115 dBA throughout the entire game: the marching band.
With brass instruments reaching an average of 100 dBA while played at full strength, the closely-seated and moving marching band members are continually exposed to prolonged, high-level noise exposure. With exposure to high-level and long-lasting instrumental noises that are above the standard threshold of “safe noise levels” (40-80 dBA), marching band members are at a high possibility of falling victim to Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHC). This year, sophomore Emily Myers from the University of Arkansas made big steps in her honors research to fight against the potential NIHC Razorback Marching Band members could experience.
One of the largest obstacles Myers had to face in her research was balancing hearing protection and sound distortion. For musicians, it’s vital that each individual can accurately hear the notes they are playing. The lack of sound quality is a major reason why many band members won’t wear hearing protection in the first place.
According to an article from the University of Arkansas news column,
“Myers said the issue with over-the-counter earplugs is that they may not fit comfortably in a musician’s ear, causing the individual not to wear them during rehearsals or performances. And the bigger issue for band members is that earplugs may distort sounds, which could cause the musicians to have difficulty hearing across the ensemble, she said.”
Here at Center for Hearing, we believe in the importance of helping musicians find adequate equipment that helps protect their hearing while accurately hearing the notes of the instrument. We are equipped to develop custom earplugs for our local musicians and helping them save their hearing! Contact us today to see how you can start protecting your hearing today while still performing the music you love tomorrow.