Lifelong Musicians Have Better Hearing
Playing a musical instrument throughout your life protects your hearing, a Canadian study suggests. The study, which was published in Psychology and Aging, carried out hearing tests on 74 musicians and 89 non-musicians. ____51____
Action on Hearing Loss said all people—including musicians—should try to prevent hearing damage. ____52____ By sixty, 10-30% of people have some hearing loss. By eighty, that goes up to as many as 60%. Problems are particularly seen in the central hearing processing system, which is associated with understanding speech, especially when there is background noise.
Then a research, by a team at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, looked at how adults were affected as they aged. They chose both musicians and non-musicians from the age of 18 to 91 and divided them into different groups based on the age. Again musicians were significantly better at picking out speech against noise in all the age ranges.
____53____ Benjamin Zendel, who was part of the research team, said, “We found that being a musician may contribute to better hearing in old age, probably due to musicians using their hearing systems at a high level on a regular basis. This advantage widened considerably for musicians as they got older when compared to similar-aged non-musicians.”
This study suggests that musicians might be more able to deal with the consequences of hearing loss. ____54____ As Dr. Ralph Holme said, all people—including musicians—should try to prevent hearing damage in the first place. It’s necessary for everyone who plays a musical instrument or listens to loud music to wear hearing protection. ____55____
A. Hearing normally declines as people age.
B. Previous studies explained the reasons for hearing loss.
C. That can effectively reduce the risk of damaging their hearing permanently.
D. Still, it is far better to minimize damage by using appropriate ear protection.
E. They believed musicians are also likely to experience age-related hearing problems.
F. The researchers concluded that lifelong musicianship delays age-related changes in hearing.
G. It found a 70-year-old musician’s hearing was as good as that of a 50-year-old who didn’t play.