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Musicians have elevated risk of hearing loss

Professional musicians are at a greater risk than the general public of developing hearing loss. Custom earplugs may be one way to preserve musicians' hearing without stifling their creativity.

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Compared to the general public, professional musicians are four times as likely to develop hearing loss, and their risk of developing ringing in the ears, or tinnitus, is 57 percent higher, researchers report April 30 in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

The researchers did not identify the type of instrument, music or environment that leads to the greatest risk of hearing loss in professional musicians. But the team argues that the finding offers strong evidence for developing ways to protect musicians' hearing.

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