UK Hearing Conservation Association Conference – Stigma stopping some musicians from using hearing protection
A stigma around weak hearing is one reason career musicians are reluctant to use devices.
Dr Samuel Smith, a researcher at the University of Manchester said stigma associated with hearing loss is stopping musicians from using hearing protection.
Presenting at the inaugural UK Hearing Conservation Association conference, Smith revealed other reasons for low uptake including unpleasant sensation, cost and appearance.
The consistent use of hearing protection devices among musicians, according to a 2005 study, may be as low as 6%, Couth explained.
Studies suggest workers in the music sector are more likely to be affected by noise than those working in construction and agriculture. High-profile rock musicians including Dave Grohl and Noel Gallagher have recently revealed their hearing loss concerns following a lifetime in the profession.
For musicians who refer to the hierachy of control, the model suggests turning down the source. However, Couth said this doesn’t sit well in the profession. “If you’re a career musician you can’t neccesarily turn down the source of the sound. Or you can’t tell musicians around you to turn it down”.
Couth and his team is currently carrying out research using a behavioural framework model which he plans to share data from at next year’s conference.
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