Musicians

Many with hyperacusis are current or past musicians. Similar to call center workers, musicians give significant attention to their auditory senses while being exposed to sounds of even greater intensity. A 1999 study of 100 hyperacusis patients found 25% had a music related profession. 31% of patients surveyed reported that their hyperacusis was caused by music exposure:

“It was quite clear from the present material that music was by far the most common aetiology. Thirty-one patients considered that music exposure, either professional or at loud pop/rock concerts or discotheques, had elicited the hypersensitivity to sound”
 
-Hypersensitivity to sound: Questionnaire data, audiometry and classification

When looking at the musician population, the prevalence of hyperacusis is consistently greater than that found in the general population:

Reference Musician Type Total Surveyed % Reporting Hyperacusis
Kahari 2003 Jazz/Rock 139 39%
Janson 2009 Symphony 241 Total: 79%
“Severe”: 10%
Schmuziger 2006 Pop/Rock
(Non-professional)
42 26%
Halevi-Katz 2015 Drummers 10 40%

One study found drummers to be most at risk,

“Drummers are more susceptible to [Noise Induced Hearing Loss]…  Drummers showed an occurrence of 80% of tinnitus and 40% of hyperacusis. 70% of drummers reported using hearing protection, in relation to the rest of the participants of the study who reported 42.1% use of hearing protection… [Drummers] were found to have significantly higher [hearing loss] compared to other musicians within the study.”
 
-Exposure to music and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among professional pop/rock/jazz musicians

Another way to identify a relation between hyperacusis and musicians is to check if hyperacusis is more likely to develop depending on the number of total hours an individual has been practicing and performing as a musician. The 2015 study by Halevi-Katz on pop/jazz/rock musicians found a significant positive correlation between musician experience and reported hyperacusis.

With this in mind, it seems likely that hyperacusis can develop as a cumulative effect of sound exposure. Below is a list of decibel levels that can be experienced by musicians regularly.

MusicDB

Data from soundadvice.info and a study by Marshal Chasin AuD

Cumulative cochlear and neurological damage can occur even in those that show normal hearing tests. See hidden hearing loss for more information.

Next: Further Reading


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References

Anari M, Axelsson Alf, Eliasson A, Magnusson L. Hypersensitivity to Sound: Questionnaire data, audiometry and classification. Scand Audiol 1999:28:219-230.

Schmuziger N, Patscheke J, Probst R. Hearing in nonprofessional pop/rock musicians. Ear Hear 2006:27(4):321-330.

Halevi-Katz D, Yaakobi E, Putter-Katz H. Exposure to music and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among professional pop/rock/jazz musicians. Noise & Health 2015:17(76):158-164.

Jansen E, Helleman H, Dreschler W, de Laat J. Noise induced hearing loss and other hearing complaints among musicians of symphony orchestras. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2009:82(2):153-164.

Kähärit K, Zachau G, Eklöf M, Sandsjö L, Möller C. Assessment of hearing and hearing disorders in rock/jazz musicians. Int J Audiol. 2003:42(5):279-288.

http://www.agcak.org/MOA%20Hot%20Topics/Decibel%20-Loudness-%20Comparison%20Chart.pdf

http://www.soundadvice.info/thewholestory/san10.htm