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How tinnitus affects DJs’ life and work in music

today08/02/2024 4

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As producers we are used to bending and manipulating sine waves. Tinnitus is like have a constant sine wave playing 24 hours a day. It’s something I’ve dealt with for most of my life. In the ’90s we would freak the speakers. Little did we know years later this would affect our hearing and prove to give all of us horrible tinnitus. The older I got the worse it got. I finally realised that I needed ear protection.

Tinnitus impacts my daily life as I literally cannot sleep without white noise. If I don’t have it on I can constantly hear a sine wave. Sometimes it’s quiet and other times, when I am really stressed out, it’s so loud and will give me a massive headache. If I don’t wear ear protection when I DJ or produce then my head will buzz all night after my set. It can be really painful and mentally exhausting.

When it gets really bad I try to sit down and meditate. It’s very intense but meditation helps dissociate, especially if I do an internal mantra based meditation. I feel as if stress makes it worse, so meditation helps calm the body and the mind. After about 30 minutes, I am calmer and the noise goes down a few notches. It never really goes away though. I also started doing acupuncture in hopes that it will help.

Wearing ear protection at my gigs really made a huge difference. DJ Wheez-ie told me to put my ear protection in while in the taxi on the way to the club so your ears will adjust. This was a fabulous idea and I do this for every gig now. It’s worth taking the extra steps to protect your hearing. By the time I hit the club my ears have adjusted and I’m ready to spin in peace.

Everyone should get custom ear protection. Make sure you have back ups as well! Use the ear protection for playing and going to shows, and use it while making music. A lot of people don’t realise music production can impact your hearing as well. Preventing tinnitus is key because currently there are no ways to fully correct it. Being conscious of tinnitus and using ear protection is a huge part of being a happy and healthy raver.

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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