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For musicians, hearing is their most valued sense, and they are wise to protect their hearing with the most advanced hearing protection devices, including custom earmolds for ear plugs and in-ear monitors.
Many of us have suffered from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) after attending a concert. This is actually temporary hearing loss caused by the loud music that generally goes away in 10-18 hours after the show. It can be prevented by using simple hearing protection, such as ear plugs.
However, for professional musicians who listen to and play music for many hours every day, the hearing problems that can arise are more severe than a day of ringing in your ears. And the consequences to their music careers can be devastating. Thankfully, hearing loss, tinnitus and other hearing problems can be avoided entirely with proper hearing protection devices designed specifically for musicians.
The two main factors that affect hearing loss with respect to music is how loud the music is and how long you are exposed to it. We know that prolonged exposure to sound over 85 decibels (dB), over time, will cause permanent hearing loss. Note that 85 dB is not that loud – it's about the volume of the dial tone on a telephone. But it's the sustained exposure coupled with the volume that causes damage to your hearing.
Of course, musicians play music for hours every day, and often at volumes higher than the ring tone of a telephone! What can they do to protect their hearing?
A lot of professional musicians these days wear in-the-ear monitors. These are actually a type of modified hearing aid. These in-the-ear monitors allow the musicians to hear their own music, as well as that of others on stage, at a safe level. Using these monitors, and eliminating the on-the-stage "wedge" monitors lowers the overall sound level on stage.
Made of Plexiglass or Lucite, baffles are clear, plastic-looking shields set up in front of the drummer on stage. These baffles work to reduce the high-pitched sounds, like those from the cymbals. They protect the hearing of both the drummer and the other musicians on stage. Baffles have to be used correctly to be effective – they shouldn't be placed any higher than the drummer's ears.
There are three types of earplugs specifically for musicians: the ER-15, which is used for most rock/blues instruments, and for classical musicians; the ER-25, which is specifically for drummers; and vented/tuned earplugs. These earplugs are for instruments that don't have a lot of treble sound (like the acoustic bass or cello) or for those that aren't particularly damaging (like the clarinet), but that play near noisy, hearing-damaging instruments.
Ascent Audiology & Hearing can provide you with musician-specific earplugs that are custom fit precisely to the shape of your ears, and to your specific hearing needs. Come in for a free consultation so we can determine the best solution for you.
Dr Anzola is outstanding. Dr Anzola has provided me with hearing aids that have improved my hearing dramatically. She does an outstanding job of adjusting them each time I see her. Her staff will always fit me in if I need some help. My hearing aids have made such an improvement in the quality of my life. I am most grateful to Dr Anzola.
- Linda B., Annandale, VA
Great Service with Outstanding Results. Lost my previous hearing aids so went to Dr Ana Anzola for help in getting new ones. Thanks to her I have new hearing aids which are extraordinarily better than anything I had before. She takes time to analyze your hearing loss and then creates the best solution tailored to your needs. I woukld recommend her to anyone who suffers from hearing loss problems.
- Thomas A., Mc Lean, VA
A five-star experience! I am a first-time hearing-aid user. I did not know what to expect but Dr. Anzola immediately put me at ease, explained the process and educated me on available options. I have been impressed with the follow-up services. The doctors and staff are friendly, efficient and professional. I have recommended Ascent to others.
- Kathleen S., Herndon, VA
A+++++ (that's 5) for service, professionalism, expertise, etc. I went to the office not really knowing what to expect. Marci Smith was the Audiologist and she is very personable and professional. I am almost please enough to travel to Rockville, her normal office. Everything about the people and office are really the best.
- Richard L., Falls Church, VA
All 5 stars! I purchased my Starkey hearing aids in Naples Florida where we spend part of the year. Audiology Associates located in Naples found Ascent in a directory. With the office close to where we live, I have come in twice to purchase supplies. Service was professional, courteous, and prompt. I will be back for continued purchases as well as service on my hearing aids if necessary.
- Richard S., Oakton, VA
Service is very good and quick. After service my hearing aid is in good condition. I satisfy. Thanks.
- Thuy D., Rockville, MD
Excelent practice. Dr Anzola is an excellent professional. I'm very happy with her professional practice and office. Before I went there, I visited many doctors and they never solved my problem. With Dr. Anzola my experience has been very good.
- Ana B., Bethesda, MD
Excellent! Highly recommend. I accompanied my mother for her initial exam and again when she received the hearing aids. I was very impressed with the amount of time spent and the attention to detail. My mother is not an easy customer and for her to be impressed also says volumes. Dr. Anzola listened well and carefully and responded to all questions and concerns. I was invited to sit in as the aids were prepared and how to use and care for them was explained. She took A LOT of time going over everything, answering questions, and explaining everything in detail. We never felt hurried or rushed. Our appointment was on a Friday late afternoon. What totally amazed us was on Saturday morning my mother got a call from Dr. Anzola. She wanted to see how my mother did after the appointment and in the morning. She asked my mother if she had any questions or concerns. A follow up from the doctor WITHOUT a call from us, was a pleasant surprise. I would highly recommend her.
- Dale L., Alexandria, VA
Dr. Anzola is very attentive, listens very carefully to what ou have to say, will answer all guestions and will change whatever that can be changed to accommidate your wishes. If you have a problem Dr. Anzola will squeeze you in as soon as possible.
- Mary M., Falls Church, VA
Overall - Excellent. Office is officially run and staff (Christine) always accommodating. Appointments are timely, so next to no waiting time. Very friendly but efficient and professional environment. Small waiting room but comfortable setting. Earing devices and testing process seem to meet excellent standards...Doctor Anzola appears very technically knowledgeable and competent.
- Linda G., Fairfax, VA
I Can Hear!!! Dr. Anzola and her staff have been unbelievably fabulous with me. They worked with me to make sure that I got the help I needed and got the comfort that I wanted. They've been there every time I've needed advice or help. And yes, I've already been recommending them to friends. Think you can't hear? Go get help - After 10 years, I'm hearing the birds again... I had no idea how much I'd lost and I'm so happy to have it back again!
- Sheldon C., Arlington, VA
They have gone out of their way to help me hear better. Many times I have called or gone to their office to correct a problem or answer a question.
– Lynda R., McLean, VA
Excellent service! Dr. Anzola is totally professional, helpful and experienced - it is a pleasure to use her services.
- Jane F., Mclean, VA
Dr. Anzola taught me how to use my hearing aid. Improving your hearing is more than purchasing an aid. I am very pleased with my choice to get assistance from Ascent Audiology for my hearing needs. Dr. Anzola is a teacher as well as a doctor. I highly recommend her practice.
- Carol B., Falls Church, VA
Great service, good listeners! My hearing aids are very comfortable. I've been wearing them now since Jan. 2013. Dr. Anzola is responsive to my questions and gives great customer service! Christina is so helpful and her calls to remind me of my next appointment are much appreciated. Thank you Dr. Anzola and staff.
- Craig R., Arlington, VA
Caring, professional audiologist Dr. Anzula guided me through the difficult transition of adjusting to wearing hearing aids. She made sure I had devices to fit mt needs and took the time and care to make sure I was satisfied.
- Rhett D., Mc Lean, VA
Outstanding in all areas. Dr. Anzola and her staff are well-trained professionals who are dedicated to providing a high level of service to their patients.She is not satisfied until her patient is completely satisfied.I am very pleased with the product and my relationship with Dr. Anzola and her staff
- David S., Fairfax, VA
* Free hearing screening offer is not applicable to patients under 18 years of age or existing patients.