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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:21 pm
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Location: France
First of all: yes, I know that any instrument is potentially dangerous for one's hearing.
But the harm is usually insidious, no? I seem to have an immediate reaction to the second octave
of my fife flute, even playing softly (and I can play it real soft) and wearing a cheap foam
protection in the right ear. The right ear is the one that suffers the most, being situated closer
to the flute, I suppose. I get an uncomfortable feeling, buzzing, maybe even very mild pain that
can last for many hours after playing for 10-15 minutes. Nothing like that from playing any normally
pitched instruments, even if play as load as I can. So the frequency seems to be determinant, not
the amplitude. I wonder if it's just me. Does anyone have the same problem?

P.S. The problem could be irrelevant for me, as I'm not a big fan of the fife, but the same is true for
my nohkan flute (Japanese flute used in Noh performances) and it is one of the most mysteriously
sounding instruments in the world, that I was very eager to enjoy. I've stopped playing it altogether,
fearing to cause any permanent hearing loss.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:27 pm 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
I seem to be OK, but if I played mine regularly, I might purchase some of those musicians ear defenders, seems they get mentioned on here for playing the high notes.

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Keith.
Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:35 pm 
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hearing protection is a good idea, especially if you are symptomatic.
I practice any flute with either foam hearing plugs placed properly or industrial
muffs.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:15 pm 
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If you have ear pain in response to sound, but really want to play that instrument try the Eargasim filtered earplugs. They seem expensive, but last forever. They made a huge difference for me. There is a filter inside that removes some frequencies but still lets you hear. The foam plugs are not very good.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:32 pm 
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I confess I like the foam plugs. However it is helpful to roll the plug into a
cylinder, put it into your ear (while tugging down on the lobe), keep the finger
in the ear pushing on the plug for a good while (meanwhile letting go of the lobe).
Thus done I think they perform quite well. Otherwise less so.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 01, 2016 6:54 am
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Location: Bischberg/Bavaria/Germany
I use Alpine "musicsafe pro" earplugs -- but only when playing ocarina. Ocarina is really bad for the hearing because of the high sound pressure and the rising breath curve for the higher notes. I think it's the combination of volume and high frequencies that causes problems not the high frequencies alone.
https://www.alpine-gehoerschutz.de/ohrs ... csafe-pro/


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:41 pm 
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jim stone wrote:
I confess I like the foam plugs. However it is helpful to roll the plug into a
cylinder, put it into your ear (while tugging down on the lobe), keep the finger
in the ear pushing on the plug for a good while (meanwhile letting go of the lobe).
Thus done I think they perform quite well. Otherwise less so.



You are correct. When you place them in the ear that way the foam plugs do perform well. But they seem to cut down all sound equally. What I like about the Eargasms (besides the classy name HaHa) is they filter out frequencies so I can still have a conversation while wearing them. This has been helpful in large sessions settings or settings with amplified sound.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:29 pm 
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Makes sense. On the street, busking, I often use industrial sound muffs, so I
can simply take them off when someone comes up and talks to me.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:21 pm
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Location: France
I want to thank you all for your replies. I take note of those earplug brands. When I put foam plugs correctly in both ears I hear almost nothing, putting only one in the right ear seems to be quite helpful, but still worried about the left ear, even if there no immediate reaction. It's a very interesting remark about Ocarina, I do suspect that the safe volume level should be frequency dependent and not fixed (but I failed to find any confirmation on the internet). My fife and nohkan flutes do not exceed 80dB which is generally considered safe. The reason is probably that those sound levels were established for noisy environments and noise is usually rather low-pitched.


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