ArticleLiterature Review

Rock music and hearing disorders

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Abstract

Continued exposition to loud noise is a well-known risk factor for development of various hearing disorders; rock musicians are especially vulnerable. The aim of this paper was to get an overview of hearing loss, tinnitus and hyperacusis among rock musicians. Medline was systematically searched, using combinations of the terms "hearing", "rock music", "tinnitus" and "hyperacusis". Seven publications concerning hearing of rock musicians were identified. Permanent hearing loss occurred in 20% (mean) of the rock musicians; the prevalence varied from 5 to 41%. Tinnitus and hyperacusis appear significantly more often in rock musicians than in non-musicians. Rock musicians have increased resistance against loud music and exposure over time is protective towards hearing loss. Further research is needed to assess rock music's impact on musicians' hearing.

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... For example, sounds at rock concerts routinely reach levels above 100 dB [6][7][8], which are considered unsafe for any unprotected exposures exceeding 15 min [9,10]. Rock, jazz and symphony orchestra musicians have been found to be at a significant risk of music-based NIHL [11][12][13][14]. ...
... There is evidence that mice heard music, which acts as anti-anxiety therapy [23]. However, loud sound triggers a stress response in human and animals [5][6][7][8][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]. Therefore, we answered the question, what is the role of stress in loud music-induced OBBB. ...
... For example, music is a powerful therapy that calms down humans and animals [1,2,23]. However, the unsafe listening to loud music triggers the development of NIHR in millions of people, particularly, in teenagers and professional musicians [5,8,11,[13][14][15][16][17][18]. Therefore, it is important to understand how loud music affects us, especially in nightclubs, discotheques and rock concerts, where the continuous sound levels are in excess of 100 dB and are produced for several hours [14] (https://www.hearit.org/disco-noise-volume-over-the-top-1). ...
Article
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Music plays a more important role in our life than just being an entertainment. For example, it can be used as an anti-anxiety therapy of human and animals. However, the unsafe listening of loud music triggers hearing loss in millions of young people and professional musicians (rock, jazz and symphony orchestra) owing to exposure to damaging sound levels using personal audio devices or at noisy entertainment venues including nightclubs, discotheques, bars and concerts. Therefore, it is important to understand how loud music affects us. In this pioneering study on healthy mice, we discover that loud rock music below the safety threshold causes opening of the blood-brain barrier (OBBB), which plays a vital role in protecting the brain from viruses, bacteria and toxins. We clearly demonstrate that listening to loud music during 2 h in an intermittent adaptive regime is accompanied by delayed (1 h after music exposure) and short-lasting to (during 1–4 h) OBBB to low and high molecular weight compounds without cochlear and brain impairments. We present the systemic and molecular mechanisms responsible for music-induced OBBB. Finally, a revision of our traditional knowledge about the BBB nature and the novel strategies in optimizing of sound-mediated methods for brain drug delivery are discussed.
... For example, sounds at rock concerts routinely reach levels above 100 dB [6][7][8], which are considered unsafe for any unprotected exposures exceeding 15 min [9,10]. Rock, jazz and symphony orchestra musicians have been found to be at a significant risk of music-based NIHL [11][12][13][14]. ...
... There is evidence that mice heard music, which acts as anty-anxiety therapy [26]. However, loud sound triggers stress response in human and animals [5][6][7][8][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]. Therefore, answered to the question, what is the role of stress in loud music-induced OBBB. ...
... Music is even a powerful therapy that will make calm down both humans and animals, including mice [1,2,26]. However, the unsafe listening of loud music triggers the development of NIHR in millions of people, in particular, in teenagers and professional musicians [5,8,11,[13][14][15][16][17][18]. Therefore, it is important to understand how loud music affects us, especially in nightclubs, discotheques, rock concerts, where the continues sound levels are in excess of 100 dB and are produced for several hours [14,24]. ...
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Music plays a more important role in our life than just being an entertainment. It is an even anti-anxiety therapy of human and animals. However, the unsafe listening of loud music triggers hearing loss in millions of young people and professional musicians (rock, jazz, and symphony orchestra) due to exposure to damaging levels of sound using personal audio devices or at noisy entertainment venues including nightclubs, discotheques, bars, and concerts. Therefore, it is important to understand how loud music affects us. In this pioneering study on healthy mice, we discover that loud rock music below the safety threshold causes opening of the blood-brain barrier (OBBB), which plays an important role in protecting the brain from viruses, bacteria and toxins. We clearly demonstrate that listening loud music during 2 hrs in an intermittent adaptive regime is accompanied by delayed (1h after music exposure) and short-lasting (during 1-4 hrs) OBBB to low and high molecular weight compounds without cochlear and brain impairments. We present the systemic and molecular mechanisms responsible for music-induced OBBB. Finally, a revision of our traditional knowledge about the BBB nature and the novel strategies in optimization of sound-mediated methods for brain drug delivery are discussed.
... In addition, two studies that investigated pop/rock musicians found interesting results. One found that after five years of playing music, a group of pop/rock Swiss musicians that never wore hearing protection experienced permanent moderated hearing loss (6 dB of threshold enhancement compared to the control group), hyperacusis (26%), and tinnitus (17%), while a group that regularly wore hearing protection showed minimal average hearing threshold increase (0.9 dB)(7). On the other hand, a study covering 53 Swedish and British pop and rock musicians found that after sixteen years of music playing, only 15% of them experienced any hearing loss on objective audiometric measurements(14). ...
... A publication which reviewed seven publications concerning the hearing of rock musicians found that an average of 20% of rock musicians suffer from permanent hearing loss, the prevalence ranging from 5 to 41%(7). This review also found that hearing disturbances like tinnitus and hyperacusis (a collapsed tolerance to normal environmental sounds) appear significantly more often in rock musicians than in non-musicians(7). A study that examined a group of 139 rock and jazz musicians found that 74% suffered from one or a combination of multiple hearing disorders: hearing loss, tinnitus, hyperacusis (sounds of low intensity are uncomfortably loud), distortion, and/or diplacusis (hearing the same tone at two different pitches), with the first three being the most commonly reported disorders(12). ...
... The reviewed literature shows the significant risks of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) from music playing in rock musicians(7,12,13). Only one study on the topic found no significant hearing damage in rock and pop musicians after twenty-six years of professional playing(14). ...
Article
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Over the past four decades, there has been increasing interest in the effects of music listening on hearing. The purpose of this paper is to review published studies that detail the noise levels, the potential effects (e.g. noise-induced hearing loss), and the perceptions of those affected by music exposure in occupational and non-occupational settings. The review employed Medline, PubMed, PsychINFO, and the World Wide Web to find relevant studies in the scientific literature. Considered in this review are 43 studies concerning the currently most significant occupational sources of high-intensity music: rock and pop music playing and employment at music venues, as well as the most significant sources of non-occupational high-intensity music: concerts, dicotheques (clubs), and personal music players. Although all of the activities listed above have the potential for hearing damage, the most serious threat to hearing comes from prolonged exposures to amplified live music (concerts). The review concludes that more research is needed to clarify the hearing loss risks of music exposure from personal music players and that current scientific literature clearly recognizes an unmet hearing health need for more education regarding the risks of loud music exposure and the benefits of wearing hearing protection, for more hearing protection use by those at risk, and for more regulations limiting music intensity levels at music entertainment venues.
... Since 1969, research has shown that excessive music exposure is associated with hearing loss. [1,2,3,4,5,6] A specific population at risk is professional musicians, and some evidence indicates that professional musicians incur a significant hearing loss. [7,8,9] However, other studies have not found significant hearing loss in musicians. ...
Article
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Previous studies have shown that collegiate level music students are exposed to potentially hazardous sound levels. Compared to professional musicians, collegiate level music students typically do not perform as frequently, but they are exposed to intense sounds during practice and rehearsal sessions. The purpose of the study was to determine the full-day exposure dose including individual practice and ensemble rehearsals for collegiate student musicians. Sixty-seven college students of classical music were recruited representing 17 primary instruments. Of these students, 57 completed 2 days of noise dose measurements using Cirrus doseBadge programed according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health criterion. Sound exposure was measured for 2 days from morning to evening, ranging from 7 to 9 h. Twenty-eight out of 57 (49%) student musicians exceeded a 100% daily noise dose on at least 1 day of the two measurement days. Eleven student musicians (19%) exceeded 100% daily noise dose on both days. Fourteen students exceeded 100% dose during large ensemble rehearsals and eight students exceeded 100% dose during individual practice sessions. Approximately, half of the student musicians exceeded 100% noise dose on a typical college schedule. This finding indicates that a large proportion of collegiate student musicians are at risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss due to hazardous sound levels. Considering the current finding, there is a need to conduct hearing conservation programs in all music schools, and to educate student musicians about the use and importance of hearing protection devices for their hearing.
Article
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Article
Our focus in this study was to assess hearing thresholds and the prevalence and characteristics of tinnitus in a large group of rock musicians based in Norway. A further objective was to assess related factors such as exposure, instrument category, and the preventive effect of hearing protection. The study was a cross-sectional survey of rock musicians selected at random from a defined cohort of musicians. A random control group was included for comparison. We recruited 111 active musicians from the Oslo region, and a control group of 40 nonmusicians from the student population at the University of TromsØ. The subjects were investigated using clinical examination, pure tone audiometry, tympanometry, and a questionnaire. We observed a hearing loss in 37.8% of the rock musicians. Significantly poorer hearing thresholds were seen at most pure-tone frequencies in musicians than controls, with the most pronounced threshold shift at 6 kHz. The use of hearing protection, in particular custom-fitted earplugs, has a preventive effect but a minority of rock musicians apply them consistently. The degree of musical performance exposure was inversely related to the degree of hearing loss in our sample. Bass and guitar players had higher hearing thresholds than vocalists. We observed a 20% prevalence of chronic tinnitus but none of the affected musicians had severe tinnitus symptomatology. There was no statistical association between permanent tinnitus and hearing loss in our sample. We observed an increased prevalence of hearing loss and tinnitus in our sample of Norwegian rock musicians but the causal relationship between musical exposure and hearing loss or tinnitus is ambiguous. We recommend the use of hearing protection in rock musicians.
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