Custom Earmolds – Hearing Protection in Chicago
Music adds a lot of enjoyment to the lives of many people. It can even be an emotional lifeline during difficult times. For musicians, the creation of music is also their livelihood.
Everyone who loves music wants to enjoy it for the rest of their lives. This is why it’s so important to protect your hearing while you’re creating or listening to music. We offer custom hearing protection in Chicago, to help you continue to enjoy music for years to come.
Music can harm your hearing
Studies indicate that nearly half of all musicians suffer from a significant hearing loss. In addition, a majority of musicians and concert-goers experience tinnitus, meaning that they hear sounds such as ringing, buzzing, or hissing that aren’t actually present. It’s clear that musical performance, while enhancing your life in many ways, can cause serious damage to your hearing if you don’t protect yourself.
Sounds can harm your hearing if they’re at 85dB or louder, which is about the noise level of a crowded city street. Most musical performances occur at louder volumes than this. If someone couldn’t comfortably hold a conversation on stage in the presence of your music, then it’s damaging your hearing. To continue enjoying music for years to come, you should invest in hearing protection. Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice the quality of your performance to protect your hearing. Some options will even enhance it.
In-Ear Monitors for Musicians
In-ear monitors allow musicians to listen to their own music at a healthy volume. The monitor can isolate particular instruments and/or voices, while minimizing extraneous background noise. This can improve your performance, while also saving your hearing. This is one of the options we offer in our office for hearing protection in Chicago.
In-ear monitors offer an alternative to using floor monitors (wedges) while performing. They cost significantly less than floor monitors and are less prone to feedback. The device transmits the sound directly to your ears, which allows you to adjust the volume to your own listening preference. By doing this, an in-ear monitor can actually allow for lower volume levels while achieving the same perception of volume, which helps to protect your hearing.
Use of in-ear monitors also helps to reduce the strain on your vocal cords. When using floor monitors, the musicians tend to play louder and louder throughout the performance, with each member of the band turning up the volume a bit at a time. This forces the singer to sing louder in order to hear herself or himself, which can be very hard on your voice. Because the singer’s microphone can only be turned up to a certain extent before feedback becomes an issue, the singer eventually can’t hear his or her own performance at all, which can make it hard to perform well. With in-ear monitors, this problem is avoided.
Many well-known musicians have switched to using in-ear monitors exclusively during their performances. Musicians should wear two in-ear monitors (one in each ear) for optimum hearing protection as well as performance.
Musician earplugs are customized earmolds that reduce the loudness of sound in a controlled decibel amount. They’re made of silicone, which is a comfortable and durable material. To create a customized earplug, impressions will be taken of your ear and ear canal here in our Chicago office.
Custom earmolds have several advantages over standard foam earplugs. Because they fit perfectly into your ear canal, custom earmolds offer more consistent hearing protection than foam earplugs. In many cases, foam earplugs are not inserted far enough into the ear canal, or don’t completely fill the space in order to block sound. Furthermore, foam earplugs reduce high-frequency sounds more than the low and mid-frequencies, which can cause music and voices to sound muffled and unclear. Musician earplugs have a generally “flat” response, reducing the loudness of all pitches equally, so that sound perception is not distorted.
You don’t have to be a musician to benefit from “musician’s” earplugs. Anyone working or playing in loud environments could benefit from using them, particularly if they also want to be able to carry on a conversation while wearing their hearing protection. Some examples include:
- restaurant wait staff
- concert lovers
- band security
- sound crew members
- airline mechanics
- construction workers
- industrial workers
- truck drivers
We offer a number of different options for hearing protection in Chicago, so you can continue to enjoy your favorite activities for many years to come. Whether you love music, hunting, motorsports, or car racing, we have comfortable options to help save your hearing! 630-930-1025
Dr. Dawn Heiman is certified as a Gold Circle audiologist by Sensaphonics. We offer ear monitors from several companies, including Sensaphonics, Westone, and Future Sonics.