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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 38  |  Page : 14--26

Employment and acceptance of hearing protectors in classical symphony and opera orchestras

Freiburg Institute for Musicians' Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Mark F Zander
Freiburger Institut für Musikermedizin, Hansastr. 3, 79104 Freiburg
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.39004

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Objectives: Prior to this study, it was not clear how familiar orchestral musicians were with the various insertable models of hearing protectors. The present study focuses on musicians and entertainers and proposes the maintenance of a noise exposure limit through the use of a hearing protector. Materials and Methods: This study was conducted by distributing a questionnaire to musicians ( n = 429) in nine orchestras in order to obtain information on the use of hearing protection and the musicians' hearing sensitivity. Results: Hearing protectors were found to be seldom used by orchestral musicians. During orchestral rehearsals, <1/6 of the test persons used Type 1 (individually fitted) hearing protectors although >80% of the respondents indicated that they knew about them. A gap emerged between what seemed most important to musicians in hearing protectors and what was provided by the manufacturers. Conclusions: The subject of hearing protection in orchestral musicians should be investigated with a multidimensional approach which considers the following in equal measure: legal regulations, the requirements and limits of the music sector and the individual characteristics of the musicians involved.


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