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  1. Have your hearing checked so you know where you stand and the personal risks to your hearing due to exposure to loud sounds.
  2. Your good hearing is important as a musician. Ensure that your listening environment is safe. Exposure to sound levels greater than 85 dBA should be limited.
  3. Use appropriate hearing protection. Some custom ear plugs—available through Lakewood Hearing & Speech Center—offer a flatter attenuation across the frequency range and make listening to music more enjoyable than with foam earplugs.
  4. Keep your ears clean using a warm washcloth on the outer area of the ear. If excessive ear wax is a problem, there are over the counter ear wax removal products available. John W. House, MD, states that ear candling or coning are dangerous, not effective, and can easily damage your ear canal.
  5. Have your hearing tested annually. If you experience sudden loss of hearing or a change in your hearing, seek immediate attention.

Adapted from House Research Institute Outlines Five Ways Musicians Can Protect Their Hearing in 2012 accessed through AudiologyOnline, February 2, 2012.

Randall D. Smith, M.Ed., is the senior author of The Hearing Aid Decision: Answers to Your Many Questions (available through Amazon.com). Smith is a certified speech-language pathologist and a board certified hearing instrument specialist specializing in communication difficulties related to hearing problems. He owns Lakewood Hearing & Speech Center.

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Tags: Lakewood Hearing Aids, Musicians, custom ear plugs, hearing protection, safe listening environment, limit exposure to sound levels greater than 85 dBA, flatter attenuation