Hearing loss affects 40% of musicians, says survey

Musicians working in orchestras were included in the study Musicians working in orchestras were included in the study
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Four out of 10 of musicians in the UK – including those who work for stage productions – have suffered hearing loss, a survey has claimed.

Charity Help Musicians UK’s survey found that 40.5% of the 692 respondents said they had experienced hearing loss, with 78.3% of these revealing that being a musician was one of the factors that had caused it.

The survey was issued to musicians across the UK, including those working for orchestras in organisations including English National Opera and the Royal Opera House.

Of those who complained of hearing loss, 75% said they experienced tinnitus and 50% said they had sought professional help as a result. However, 39% said they had not sought help because they thought hearing problems were “unavoidable” in their line of work.

In addition, 81% of those taking part said musicians should use hearing protection, with half stating they were worried about noise levels at work.

The survey found that 83% of respondents felt employers should provide hearing protection.

Following the survey, Help Musicians UK said it would be producing advice about the issues of working around music and developing a network of specialists, so that musicians know who to approach about hearing concerns.