A special blog for every DJ/Producer and week to week clubber.
I want to help raise awareness and bring up a topic I feel we can really take for granted most often and that is our hearing. First of all I want to talk about tinnitus and what it is, and the effects it has on our hearing. And secondly earplugs, why they are a “must have item” especially if you are a DJ. If you want to save your ears from permanent hearing loss and help protect them in the long run, “You must read on”.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is basically a ringing in ones ear, and can sound like a whistling or a chirping noise. Tinnitus is very common more so in adults, but people from all ages can get it, it’s mainly common with hearing loss as well as damage to the inner ear drum and inner ear hairs. Exposure to loud noises is one of the most common causes of developing it, but it’s not the only way you can get it.
If you are a DJ, producer, or week to week clubber and don't protect your ears with earplugs, and start to notice or even suffer from ringing in your ears from time to time, it’s very likely you have developed tinnitus from doing one or all three activities mentioned. But what else can cause or bring on more of this annoying ringing in our ears? And if we have it does it mean we are going deaf? Lets look into other causes and effects.
You develop it and increase it from the following:
Old age and hearing loss
An ear infection
Ear wax blockage
High blood pressure
Head and neck trauma
A Benign tumor
Various medication “like” aspirin, antibiotics, cancer treatments and some anti depressants.
Excess Alcohol, Caffeine and smoking can also increase the effects
These are the rest of the other causes, that you probably did not know.
But did you know?
You can have tinnitus and still have great hearing, some people with bad cases of tinnitus can hear perfectly normal. Tinnitus does not cause hearing loss, and nor does hearing loss always cause tinnitus, most of the time but not all. It may sound like I am contradicting myself a little, but I am really not, as someone who has tinnitus and has researched it a lot, I know this first hand, but encourage you to do your own “research” as well for your own piece of mind.
With my tinnitus I often hear it most at night or in quiet environments, I don't get it everyday perhaps 3- 4 days a week, but when I do it normally lasts around 10 seconds then goes away after that. Both my ears are still in the normal range with a reading of 90% in the left ear and 93% in the right ear. I make sure I always get a hearing check once a year and make sure I wear special Earplugs for when I DJ at my gigs, to protect myself from any more loss in hearing, or increased effects of Tinnitus.
Now that I have it I have become more aware of the ringing and I am over protective of my ears now, I will not DJ or go to a nightclub without them wearing them, “FULL STOP”. Might I also add when I am in the studio producing music, there have been many occasions where certain frequency’s have triggered the Tinnitus and have made my ears ring temporarily, making me loose slight hearing in my ears for 10 to 15 seconds, It can freak you out sometimes.
Can You Get Rid Of Tinnitus?
Unfortunately once you have got it, you've got it, as it stays with you for life. But how severe or minor the case is obviously depends on the damage done, and what you do to protect or treat your ears from loud noises and exposure to the various other things I mentioned earlier. The most common way to protect our ears are Ear Plugs which I will get to in a moment, but what about treating ears and decreasing the effects?
It has been known that relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, yoga and even biofeedback can help treat it, and may reduce it a little if you are consistently putting these techniques into daily practice, also herbal supplements like ginkgo biloba have been known to help reduce it a little as well.
Lets Talk Ear Plugs
If your intentions are to be a DJ or producer and stay in the field of music for many years, let me say that your ears are your best asset in this industry, and ear plugs must be worn.
You don't want normal cheap foam ear plugs, they are no good for DJing. Why? Because they have a tendency to block out to much sound and can make it extremely hard to mix in your tracks through your headphones in a nightclub environment. However they can be fine to use if you are a spectator, as you see them usually being worn in nightclubs from time to time.
What the DJ's now are commonly using are specially molded ear plugs, for these type of ear plugs it is best for you see an audiologist, I highly recommend it. You can head over to a website called pacific ears and get yourself some custom made musicians ear plugs. The ones that work really great for DJing are from the ER range and their called ER 15’s, they are the ones I use for DJing and work like magic. I would still urge you to see an audiologist to
make sure they are perfect for your needs, plus they will have to take a custom mold from your ear to make sure they will fit properly.
A Movie That Will Make You Think
“It’s all gone Pete Tong” have you heard of it? If not it is a “must” for you and every other DJ out there. It was such a wake up call for me and it really shocks the hell out of you when you do watch it. It’s all about a famous DJ that goes deaf from DJing, that’s basically it in a nutshell, but it is a very interesting and entertaining movie that gives you great awareness on hearing, and does have some humorous points in the movie to. After watching it you will definitely value you're hearing a lot more, I know I certainly did, and that's the whole point of this article I am writing today, bringing more awareness to the DJ and he's hearing.
I think it is safe to say protect your ears at all times when you DJ, that is my message. Don't value a few hundred dollars over the protection of your ears, just book in to see your nearest audiologist and get some musicians ear plugs custom fitted. It’s an investment in your future as a DJ/Musician, and even if you are a punter you should do the same. Money you can always get back, hearing you cannot.