Foto © Lena Busch

Audio Message from Lisa Fitz

In her audio message, satirist and musician Lisa Fitz speaks about how tinnitus is dealt with in the music industry, how she protects herself and her hearing, and what she would like to see done to educate people about tinnitus and hearing protection.

Many colleagues, musicians, technicians who suffer from tinnitus are reluctant to broach the subject because they find it embarrassing. They usually talk about it only when it's got really bad, and they then need, let's say, comforting when they tell people about their illness. Before that they keep it a secret. That's to say it would be much better if people were simply more open about the problem of hearing and hearing protection—even making a few jokes about it; that usually helps relax things.

I try to protect myself by not listening to music too loud, and when I go to rock concerts, I take earplugs or headphones with me. And by also telling my son: “Watch out if the rock music is too loud.” Because when you're young you don't want to hear about such things; you realise the consequences only when it's too late.

I have on occasion had a ringing in the ear. But mostly not from loudness but from stress. Then I always try right away to take it down a gear, to relax and tell myself this can be sorted out without getting worked up. Calm down, sit down, have a cup of tea of coffee, or lie down. If it's possible. Then the ringing usually quickly disappears. Since I've started doing this, things have improved. And another tip from my GP I've followed for years: take a deep breath and then count down from ten. Really slowly: ten, nine, eight—under your breath, of course, if there are other people around. But it also helps if you have the feeling that when you get to zero it will be better.

If you ask me what advice I have for young people, I would always say: “Please don't think this has nothing to do with me, I'm young, this isn't my problem,” and then put everything off. They should listen to the stories sufferers have to tell and simply take them seriously. You don't always have to be “stupid” when you're young. Sometimes you can even learn from your elders. There's the saying that people learn by thinking or by feeling. In this case it would really be good if they could learn by thinking and then spare themselves the feeling, the suffering.

Information can be spread in many ways. On the Internet, for example, that's a good thing because lots of young people use it. Also in music circles, also stress prevention, that's also part of it. Spread the word simply everywhere. And musicians and technicians shouldn't be shy about discussing the subject among themselves. So information, information, information—wherever possible! That's what I would like to see.

Your Lisa Fitz

Other musicians and music companies also deal intensively with the topic of hearing protection and tinnitus. One of them is Producer Hive, an online platform that focuses on information for musicians and producers. They have created a helpful infographic and report about tinnitus in an article.