“Professional French Horn Players in Danger of Developing Noise-Induced Hearing Loss,” Asons Solicitors Comment

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According to the Telegraph, professional French horn players should consider adopting strategies to prevent noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). A new study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH), found compelling evidence that, among musicians, French horn players are most at risk. (1)

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland, and the University of Sydney, took place during the 2010 annual gathering of the International Horn Society in Brisbane, Australia.During which, they examined the hearing of the 144 French horn players in attendance. As part of the investigation, audiometric assessments were conducted, and sound levels and hearing thresholds were recorded. This data determined how at risk players were from the noise level caused by their instruments. (2)

The research discovered that 22.2 per cent of the horn players showed symptoms of hearing loss. Of those aged less than 40 years old, an alarming 32.9 per cent showed signs of hearing loss. Unfortunately, just 18 per cent wore hearing protection while playing. (2)

During performances, French horns can reach noise levels of up to 106 decibels, while trombones and trumpets can exceed 114 decibels. Such levels are comparable to the noise produced while operating a chainsaw. (2)

Thomas Fairclough, Executive at Asons Solicitors, commented that:

“These musicians need to take the same precautions that are expected of someone who works in a loud working environment. Noise-Induced Hearing Loss is irreversible, however it is preventable. It is unfortunate that so many musicians don’t take the necessary precautions required to prevent permanent damage.”

O'Brien and his colleagues also administered a questionnaire, which helped them to investigate the horn players' safety practices, and their attitudes regarding hearing conservation. (1)

"We were surprised to find that only 18 percent of participants reported using any form of hearing protection," said lead investigator Wayne Wilson, PhD, MAudSA, CCP, a senior lecturer in audiology at the University of Queensland.

"Even within that 18 percent, the use of hearing protection appears to be inadequate, with 81 percent of these participants reporting their frequency of use as 'sometimes' and 50 percent reporting they use generic, foam or other inferior forms of protection."

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), when individuals are continuously exposed to loud noise over a long period of time, the symptoms of NIHL will gradually worsen. The NIDCD recommends preventing NIHL by regularly using hearing protectors, such as earplugs or earmuffs. These tools can be tailored to musicians, such as French horn players, and are commercially available. (2)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report, that there have been over 125,000 cases of permanent hearing loss in workers since 2004. In addition to hearing loss, exposure to loud noises can result in physical and psychological stress, hinder communication, and cause accidents, preventing the worker's ability to hear warning signals. (2)

According to Torey Nalbone, PhD, CIH, associate professor at the University of Tyler, Texas, and an AIHA noise exposure expert, "The appropriate use of hearing protection devices can and will reduce the incidence of NIHL. This could be an important attitude and habit to change for these horn players and others in an orchestral setting, especially when they depend on their hearing for a major portion of their success during performances." (2)

Asons Solicitors suggest, that if someone would like to learn more about Noise-Inducing Hearing Loss, or if they would like to better understand the hearing loss claims process, that such information is available at http://www.asons.co.uk, or via an expert helpline on 01204 521 133

(1) French horn players are players are most at risk of hearing loss in an orchestra - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10334527/French-horn-players-are-most-at-risk-of-hearing-loss-in-an-orchestra.html - The Telegraph September 2013
(2) Professional French Horn Players in Danger of Developing Noise-Inducing Hearing Loss http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130924122835.htm - Science Daily September 2013

–ENDS –

About Asons Solicitors:

Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.
For further information contact:

Email: info(at)ason(dot)co(dot)uk
Website:http://www.asons.co.uk

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John King
@AsonsSolicitors
since: 01/2013
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