“Hearing loss and ringing in the ears used to be a badge of honor. I rocked so hard I can’t hear. That’s not the case anymore. Now we no the dangers of noise induced hearing loss.”
This is especially true for middle and high school concert and marching band members exposed to loud music.
“I’m Logan I play cymbals, a little bit of bass drum a little bit of gong.”
“Do you ever have ringing in your ears? Sometimes, it hurts too like sometimes it’s really loud screaming loud, annoying.”
The medical term is tinnitus.
“The ringing is just a precursor to hearing loss. It’s the nerve saying, ‘Whoa, that was too loud. That was too much.’”
His medical penlight shining inside Logan’s left ear, Dr. Stelios Dokianakis let’s me know that about 9 out of every ten Allegan High School Band members he’s screened admits to experiencing ringing ears. The medical term is tinnitus.
“Could you imagine having that constantly where it would never go away? That would suck, I would probably cry.”
“That’s exactly right and it does make people want to cry. It leads to depression.”
Turning to Facebook the Holland Audiologist launched a competition while also spreading awareness. He called it Adopt-A-Band. The band receiving the most online votes would receive free hearing protection.
“I was just tired of seeing patients with damage that could have been prevented.”
But the medicine is a set of ear plugs and most kids think those muffle music? The prize? The pricey good stuff.
“Instead of regular ear plugs these are musician’s ear plugs. They’re high fidelity. They attenuate sound evenly so they don’t muffle sound.”
“They don’t hurt because they’re not like hard. They’re like cushiony, I guess. And it actually makes the cymbals sound a lot better. Like it sounds like, prettier to me.”
“Use them all the time. You’re going to play cleaner. It’s going to sound better when you play because you’re not overloading the ear. And because you’re not overloading and over stimulating the ear you hopefully will not have anymore ringing.”
More than 1,500 votes were cast. Allegan was the winner. But the doctor fitted the second and third place finishers and picked up the $9,000 bill…that included top shelf ear pieces for band directors who are most at risk.
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