The former Oasis star Noel Gallagher has been diagnosed with tinnitus, the hearing condition which causes ringing in the ears.
After having played guitar for the last 20 years, Noel Gallagher has received a diagnosis for the constant ringing in his ears. The 45-year-old musician went for a brain scan at the hospital, where doctors uncovered tinnitus as being the reason for the recurring buzzing in his ears.
“I went for a brain scan. They did find it. I’ve got bizarre ringing in my ears. I think it’s just through playing guitar for the last 20 years so I had to sit in a tube in the hospital,” Noel Gallagher said in an interview with the British DJ Andy Goldstein.
Rock musicians suffer from tinnitus. A high-level volume combined with heavy bass tones has been part of most musicians’ careers. Rock bands in particular are well-known for their habit of reaching volumes that are perilously close to causing severely-reduced hearing and tinnitus.
For instance, Coldplay front man Chris Martin, Queen drummer Roger Taylor and The Who’s Pete Townshend have on earlier occasions talked about their sufferings from tinnitus.
This past year at a show in Sunrise, Florida, Pete Townshend, who has battled with tinnitus and hearing loss for many years, left a show during an encore of ‘You Better You Bet’. Before leaving the stage, Townshend reportedly appeared unhappy with the sound levels onstage, shouting “too loud” at the sound engineer before walking off. When the rest of the band continued into ‘Baba O’ Riley’ to end the show, he didn’t reappear.
Hearing loss can be prevented. Being exposed to loud noises is a natural part of everyday life for many people, be it at work, in traffic or at a café. Preventative measures may therefore be paramount in situations such as rock concerts, where it is common to be exposed to noise levels above the recommended maximum level of 85dB.
A set of earplugs can make a huge difference when exposed to loud music or other noises. They can be bought in most pharmacies and supermarkets, and when employed can reduce noise by 20-30dB.
Good Advice. Veteran guitar player Paul Gilbert (from Mr. Big and Racer X) has hearing loss that is so bad that he now is forced to wear hearing aids. Gilbert
wishes he had done a few things differently in his life. He wishes he had followed the following simple advice when he was younger and he also wishes that he could still follow a conversation without experiencing problems.
Paul Gilbert has therefore compiled a list of things he would advise other musicians and music lovers to do if they want to retain their hearing and avoid tinnitus. Among other things:
- Do not sit with your ears right up next to your speakers when music is playing, regardless of how much you love the sound and the music.
- Do not turn your headphones up too loud when, for example, listening to your favourite number.
- Do not crank-up your car stereo when you’re out driving.
- If you are a musician and in the studio, you should not sit and record for 14 hours a day with the metronome turned right up in your headphones.
- Do not try and edit music in spaces which are not suitable for the job. This can lead to frustration and confusion around the acoustic image and can often result in you turning up the volume even more so as to get a better picture of the individual instruments.
- Don’t play cool in situations where the music is too loud. Put your fingers in your ears or leave the room.