Do You Play the French Horn?

If so, you might want to think about protecting your hearing.  A research study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene has found that only 18% of people that play the French horn actually wear hearing protection.  Furthermore, of all the orchestral musicians, it is the French horn players that are at the most risk for noise-induced hearing loss.

French_horn_frontResearchers examined the hearing of 144 French horn players who had gathered in 2010 for a meeting of the International Horn Society in Brisbane, Australia. The study found that 11 – 22% of the musicians had some hearing loss. Looking specifically at the younger musicians, the researchers found that the prevalence of hearing loss increased to 17 – 32% (with adjustments for age).

The 18% of musicians that said they wore hearing protection admitted to only wearing it “sometimes”.

“Even mild hearing loss can result in difficulties discriminating pitch, abnormal loudness growth and tinnitus, all of which can affect a musician’s ability to perform, subsequently jeopardizing his or her livelihood,” said study researcher, Ian O’Brien, MPhil, MAudSA, CCP.

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