Human beings were not designed to listen to very loud music for a long time; our ears weren’t anyway. If anything, our hearing, along with our other senses, was all about listening out for predators and communicating with one another. Head banging music, which originated in the 1960s and continues as I write and you read this, is very loud amplified music. People who work in the music industry around this type of sound are losing their hearing, often permanently. Musicians, sound engineers, roadies, mixers, and the people who work in the venues are going deaf due to damage caused by sustained exposure to sound above 8o decibels.
Now, some would say that if you are so stupid to listen to very loud music all the time you deserve what you get, but ignorance is not a crime in my view. In the beginning, the love of loud music is all to do with the passion of youth and expressing your hormones. Later on, it may become a habit, a job or part of the background to your employment. Many people just don’t realise the damage it can do to your hearing; silly as that may sound. Hearing loss is no laughing matter; especially when it lasts forever.
Not being able to properly hear the words of a loved one, a child or a beloved, creates the ground for dysfunctional relationships to develop. We all want to be heard in our lifetime by those who are most important to us, a parent or a partner. The hearing aid and devices like the Cochlear implant will become more and more prevalent in today’s society. The deaf musician will no longer be an oddity like Beethoven was, he and she will be counted in their hundreds if not thousands in our western countries.
Marketing the hearing loss message: Cochlear for a new generation will become a social imperative. The medical industry is becoming very adept at getting their message across to the public through their public relation firms’ strong relationship with news editorial in particular. Very few Australians realise that what they watch on their television screens at newstime has been filmed and supplied by PR firms employed by the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Most folk think that they are watching something filmed by the TV station, but the line between marketing and editorial has been blurred for a very long time now. In the case of marketing hearing loss devices and aids this may even be a good thing; as untreated hearing loss causes real social dysfunction.