To paraphrase a signature song lyric, “for those about to rock, we cancelled our tour.” AC/DC, iconic Australian rock band cancels tour due to hearing loss. Lead singer Brian Johnson was advised by doctors to stop touring immediately or risk total, permanent hearing loss according to a press release from the band. The band was on a north American tour swing with upcoming shows in Philadelphia, Columbus and Cleveland dates, when the shocking news was revealed.
Fans of the band also remember that guitarist Malcolm Young left the band in 2014 due to the onset of dementia. Out of respect for the musician’s family, we don’t know the details of his diagnosis. However we do know about an overwhelming body of medical research showing a strong link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Dr. Frank Lin of Johns Hopkins has been studying this field extensively looking to onlock clues to an impending health crisis as our population ages.
The answer is absolutely yes! And so can classical music, headphones, ear buds, and anything else that is too loud. You don’t need to be one of the loudest rock bands on earth like AC/DC pumping out 130 decibels of sound in concert. Sustained exposure to sounds over 85 decibels can cause permanent noise induced hearing loss. Anyone who has played in an orchestra knows that it is pretty loud in the french horn section. It is quite common for musical conductors and classical musicians to show signs of hearing loss. It isn’t the type of music that matters, it is the volume! We strongly encourage musicians to explore in-ear musician monitors.
Not a performer? Protect your ears too. Turn down the volume of your headsets and earbuds. Due to the closeness to your inner ear, they can deliver a surprisingly loud and damaging level of sound. If you are planning to catch any of the great shows coming up at First Niagra Pavilion or Heinz Field, think about wearing hearing protection. Don’t think of it as giving up, the bands on stage and the stage hands, security, are all wearing hearing protection. Options range from over the counter ear plugs to customized ear plugs that electronically minimize the sound reaching your ear without diminishing the quality. It’s okay to rock. Just take steps to take care of your hearing, they are the only ears you’ve got.