'Professional musicians' identified through health insurance records

Professional musicians are almost four times as likely to develop noise-induced hearing loss and 57% more likely to develop tinnitus than the general public. These are the findings of a new study published inOccupational & Environmental Medicine.
A 2010 study published by the BMJ found that personal music devices - such as mp3 players - put young people at risk of hearing loss, as they can generate levels of sound in the ear in excess of 120 decibels. The authors behind that study explained that, at that volume, the sound level is similar in intensity to a jet engine.

The authors recommend that professional musicians - whether they play classical or rock music - should use ear protection when playing live, and that sound shields should also be installed between different sections of an orchestra.

The musicians were 57% more likely to having tinnitus - incessant ringing in the ears - and almost four times as likely to have some level of deafness.