How sensitive is your hearing? Believe it or not many singers find that certain sounds/noises are extremely irritating and sometimes painful to listen to. Personally I find anyone singing off key makes me feel physically sick, some singers find certain frequencies and decibels irritating like high pitched laughter, screams and loud noises, some to such an extent that the ears experience a ‘ringing’ sound, ear popping or stuffiness for some time afterwards or more severely cause bleeding of the ears.
If you have auditory problems or sensitive hearing you can take a few precautions to avoid irritation.
- Wherever possible – avoid the noise that irritates!
- Use Earplugs to lessen the sound
- When rehearsing use a large room with an open window to allow the sound to dissipate
- If you have to use a small room try and deaden the walls so that the sound does not ‘bounce’ (egg boxes, carpet tiles or foam are suitable).
- Avoid aspirin–it causes tinnitus.
- Avoid practising your singing after Swimming and make sure you dry your ears thoroughly
- Don’t sing with a viral infection unless absolutely necessary
- Avoid drinking Alcohol
If this is an ongoing problem and you are encountering regular occurrences of tinnitus, stuffines, ear popping, intense pressure, or bleeding from the ears make an appointment to see your Ear Nose & Throat Doctor as soon as possible. You may need a TYMPANOGRAM which is a test to see how the ear responds to pressure.
What Type of Earplugs Are Available?
There are basically 2 types of earplugs,the basic cheap foam ones that you squeeze smaller and put in your ear then they expand to the size of your ear. These give you very good protection but can make the sound muffled and bassy, but are very good for very loud gigs over long periods, they are also cheap. The better ones for musicians are nylon and sometimes joined together by string so less easy to lose.
What Earplugs Can You Recommend?
The Elacin 20 Ear Defenders are a good place to start at around $10.00, or Alpine music safe earplugs at $20 which you can customise to vary the amount of ear protection they offer.
There are also companies that custom make ear protection to your individual needs but they can be expensive ($100 or more)
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