(NEW YORK) — Parents may want to think again before letting their children take up playing the French horn.
A study out of Australia’s University of Queensland says that the musicians who play these instruments are at greater risk of hearing loss than any of their orchestral colleagues although the researchers didn’t list specific reasons.
Study author Ian O’Brien looked at 144 professional French horn players and their rate of diminished hearing ran between 11 and 22 percent. Meanwhile, 17 to 33 percent of those over age 40 complained of some hearing loss.
A major part of the problem is that most French horn players don’t use hearing protection. And of the 18 percent who did, most admitted that they only used protection on occasion.
Obviously, any problems with the ears can affect a player’s livelihood so the study recommended educating the musician, his mentors and audiologists about how to protect hearing in such a way that it doesn’t affect performance.
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