Tinnitus Among Musicians: Causes and Ways to Protect Hearing

Tinnitus among musicians is common for people who play in live bands at loud volumes

Music is powerful. Harmonies, lyrics, and rhythms can transport you into another world and even make you feel something you have never experienced. They also say that it is a language of emotion. Depending on the song, listeners can sense emptiness or contentment.

Music lovers are fond of going to concerts to experience music on a deeper level. Some might hear a ringing sound in their ears because of the loud sound, but it usually lasts only a few hours. Unfortunately, others experience this ringing, and it never stops. This health condition is called tinnitus, and it is especially difficult for musicians who rely on their ability to hear clear sounds.

Tinnitus among musicians is very common due to the loud volume at which musicians play. If you are a musician with tinnitus, you are not alone. Feel free to use this article as your guide to learn more about your condition and determine how to manage your symptoms.


What Is the Common Cause of Tinnitus among Musicians?

Tinnitus is often the result of not adequately protecting the hearing over time. But as a musician, you are constantly exposed to loud environments for prolonged periods. Since you spend a lot of time focusing on tiny differences in frequency and sound, you tend to experience a heightened awareness of sound and hearing. This can result in a more intrusive perception of tinnitus.


How Common Is Tinnitus among Musicians?

Many musicians decide to keep their health condition a secret because it seems like a threat to their career. This only leads to isolation and greater suffering. Fortunately, more and more well-known musicians have started to talk more openly about their struggles with tinnitus. It makes everyone in the industry with this condition feel less alone.

Tinnitus is actually quite common among musicians. Here are some who are open in sharing their experiences:

  • Chris Martin (Coldplay)
  • Eric Clapton (Cream)
  • Will.i.am (The Black Eyed Peas)
  • Bob Dylan
  • Barbra Streisand
  • Ozzy Osborne
  • Phil Collins
  • Bono (U2)
  • Anthony Keidis (The Red Hot Chili Peppers)
  • Pete Townshend (The Who)
  • Brian Johnson (AC/DC)
  • Neil Young
  • Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk)
  • Jeff Beck (Yardbirds, Jeff Beck Band)
  • Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner AKA Sting (the Police)
  • Grimes
  • James Hetfield (Metallica)
  • John Densmore (The Doors)
  • Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam)
  • Liam Gallagher (Oasis)
  • Joey Jordison (Slipknot)


How Can I Protect My Hearing?

Failing to wear earplugs won’t necessarily cause chronic tinnitus (although it certainly can). But the real problem is it leads to a false sense of safety if you are exposed to loud noise for years without any noticeable issues, and then suddenly it causes permanent damage to your hearing.

As they say, prevention is better than cure. Start protecting your hearing now by wearing disposable earplugs or investing in custom earplugs or in-ear monitors. These are effective because they reduce the decibel volume level as evenly as possible. In other words, you can still hear everything clearly, but only with a lower volume level.

If you are interested in getting a hearing aid, another option is to get a hearing test. The process involves getting to know you, assessing your lifestyle, checking your health and hearing health history, and measuring various sounds. The information will help experts create a custom hearing aid for you.



Tinnitus is a challenging health problem, but it should not keep you from making music as long as you have lasting relief. Cope better with your condition and be open to getting the help you need by remembering the information in this guide and reaching out to a hearing clinic like ours.

Fraser Valley Beltone is a hearing clinic in Abbotsford, Langley, and Fort Langley. Unlike other hearing care centres, we are a healthcare partner. We connect with you as a person and provide you with a hearing aid or hearing test that can help improve your hearing. Book an appointment today!

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