Strategies For Avoiding Tinnitus As A Guitar Player

Health & Medical Blog

A common cause for tinnitus is chronic exposure to loud volumes. This means that if you work in an industry in which high levels of noise are commonplace, you may be at risk of this hearing condition. However, your hobbies can also contribute to a heightened risk of tinnitus unless you take the right approach. If you're a guitar player, you might love plugging your instrument in and turning it up—but this behavior, especially when you enjoy it frequently, can increase your risk of tinnitus. Keeping your volume on the lower side is always a good idea, but there are a number of other things that you can do to lessen the risk of this hearing issue.

Play in Open Areas

Whether or not you perform, you'll likely spend long hours practicing your instrument. Many people end up practicing in a small room, but the volume in such a space can get extremely high—and prolonged exposure to such volume can increase your risk of tinnitus. If you play in an open area, even if your volume output is the same, it will sound slightly quieter because the sound dissipates. For example, if you're able to play outside in your yard, provided that your neighbors aren't too close, this is ideal. Otherwise, even being in a garage with the door rolled up is a better idea than being in a room inside the house.

Switch to a Lower-Output Amp

It's sensible to turn down your amp to lessen your risk of hearing issues, but many guitar players feel that their tone suffers when their volume output is low. For example, an amp can have a warmer, clearer sound when the volume knob is closer to "10" than it is to "1." To defeat this dilemma, you can buy an amp with a lower output. Doing so will allow you to play with the volume turned up higher, but the output will still be moderate. For example, if you're playing a 50-watt amp with the volume at your desired level, it will be extremely loud. Switching to a five-watt amp and cranking the volume, however, will give you a good tone without being exceptionally loud.

Wear Earplugs

When you go to a loud concert, you probably don't think twice about wearing hearing protection for the health of your ears. However, when you're practicing at home, you might not even consider wearing earplugs. This is a good habit to develop, though. Even moderately priced earplugs can reduce the amount of volume getting inside your ears by several decibels, which can be valuable in your effort to lessen your risk of developing tinnitus.

Talk to an audiologist today to learn more about hearing conservation.


11 September 2017

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