Music industry workers ‘twice as likely to develop tinnitus’

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You may have seen the coverage in the mass media following a recent study into levels of hearing difficulty and tinnitus among employees in construction, agriculture, music and finance by Manchester University.

You will not be surprised to hear that music industry workers are nearly twice as likely to develop tinnitus as those in quieter occupations. Sufferers of tinnitus hear ringing, buzzing or whistling in the absence of external sounds. Musicians who reportedly suffer from tinnitus include Bob Dylan, Chris martin, Liam & Noel Gallagher and Ozzy Osbourne.

The MIA have previously reported on issues surrounding protecting the hearing of musicians, such as: the case where the viola player who suffered a life-changing hearing injury at a rehearsal won a landmark High Court judgment against the Royal Opera House (read more here). We also featured ‘Play Safe Now – Hear Tomorrow’, a piece highlighting why it’s so important for the MI industry to be aware of the of the effects of exposure to loud music.

The ramifications of these reports and studies are significant for the music industry and we expect this could be just the start of a new focus on hearing protection for working musicians, music venues and maybe even music shops?

If you are a retailer who offers teaching in store, or holds live performance events, or even if you often have customers trying out instruments in a public space, this case could be of relevance to you. Consider your duty of care to both your customers and your staff, for example, do you offer hearing protection if people want it?

We will of course keep you updated on any further developments or advice.