Studies have shown that musicians have more than three times the average risk for hearing loss. The risk of developing a music induced hearing disorder (MIHD) should be a major concern for orchestra musicians. According to Heather Malyuk, AuD, who has worked with both Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra, orchestra exposure to sound is difficult to study due to variables in repertoire and orchestra size. However, more than half of orchestra musicians surveyed have experienced MIHDs.
“These musicians are highly susceptible to MIHDs, including tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hyperacusis (sensitivity), diplacusis (detuned pitch perception), and distortion,” she says. MIHDs are more likely than modest hearing loss to affect a musician’s career, yet they are seldom discussed.
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October 24, 2017
Heather Malyuk, AuD has spoken at ICSOM and ROPA conferences. Her clinic, Soundcheck Audiology (www.soundcheckaudiology.com), features concierge services for orchestras, supporting musicians through hearing wellness and MIHD prevention.