November 11, 2016

Musicians, Hearing Aids and the Need for Open Minds

This week we’ve seen stories about musicians and musicians hearing aids whose hearing has been affected from playing and listening to music over many years.

Sir Cliff Richard, Roger Daltry and now Sting have all been mentioned in the press and we’ve highlighted the stories on our FB page regarding musicians hearing aids as well as in this News section of our website.

The media coverage about Sir Cliff implied hearing loss is age related and that for some reason wearing hearing aids was in some ways problematic!

Roger Daltry has commented that his hearing aids are amazing and that the pleasure of hearing well again is immensely pleasurable which was a nice balance to see.

In both cases the spin on the story was created by the journalists involved.

But, if the recent quote attributed to Sting is accurate, we are dismayed to see someone who has such a high profile be so dismissive of the amazing quality of life improvements that audiologists, hearing technology and musicians hearing aids can deliver.

The therapeutic benefits of improving hearing with amplification is reported in countless clinical studies and now we know more about the potential damaging effects if hearing loss is ignored. There are hundreds of studies identifying correlational data when looking at hearing, cognitive decline, memory loss and mortality.

Although the data does not confirm the cause and effect, audiologists around the world have to ‘hedge their bets’ by encouraging people to optimise their hearing abilities in the hope of allying cognitive problems and prolonging meaningful life. To the extent that these hopes are realised, the cost of self funded hearing care treatments become relatively immaterial when compared to the savings of good cognitive function and longer fuller lives.

We can only presume Sting’s comments were taken out of context or said in jest? If he did hear ‘too well’ as his quote implies then we would imagine the hearing aids he tried were incorrectly selected and poorly set for him.

So Sting, if by some small miracle you or one of your advisors are reading this, you really should get this sorted.

Sting: Hearing aids made me hear “more than I wanted to”