Drummer concerned about protecting hearing after sudden hearing loss

I play locally in some pro level jazz quartets and I’m concerned about the level of my drums after my ssnhl (sudden hearing loss) a few months ago - even though we play quietly in a restaurant setting. I do wear hearing aids, with open domes. Removing those and putting in ear plugs means I can’t hear the subtleties as well when using brushes, I haven’t yet figured out a way to keep my mind at ease, so have been subbing out of those gigs, even though I miss them. I wish I could find a definitive sound level meter to know exactly what levels I’m exposed to. I tried my iphone sound meter while practicing, and it claimed a 130db peak, even though most of the time is was 70db or less, and didn’t do anything different to make it peak - no harder hits or back beats.

Are you using hearing aids? If you have a fairly occlusive fit, for example with power domes or unvented moulds, then in principle you can have the aids set to not exceed whatever highest sound level you want. This may need some playing around to get it right, but it would probably be a better solution than ear plugs.

thank you - i do wear hearing aids with open domes. I just updated my post to reflect that.

If you change to power domes, then you will need the aids to be readjusted by your audiologist. Anyway it’s a direction to explore if you want to. Hope you find a solution.

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