I’m Fraser Cosgrove and I play the bass drum with Lower Clyde Pipe Band in Inverclyde. I started playing the bass drum at the age of 18, playing with Clydebank and then Milngavie Pipe Band for 8 years.
Q – When did you first become aware of any issue with your ears?
A – I noticed an issue with my ears after my first indoor pipe band practice and thought it would just go away but it didn’t.
Q- What were the initial symptoms?
A – I had a ringing noise in my ears that wouldn’t go away. I was fine during the winter months when we were on sticks and pads but the minute the band was on the floor the pain came back.
Q – How long did it take you to act upon the pain and seek help?
A – About 2 years. I was in the middle of my apprenticeship and the tinnitus was starting to disrupt my studies. I went my doctors who referred me to the ENT unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary for a hearing test. The results showed that I am deaf between 2 high level frequencies brought on by pipe bands.
Q – How has this effected your personal life?
A – It was starting to annoy me in busy pubs and restaurants as I was struggling to hear people. My sleep was also difficult as I could never switch off.
Q- Did you know about tinnitus before you suffered from it?
A – No, never heard of it before
Q – What advice would you give to any younger player?
A – I would advise any young piper or drummer to wear ear plugs from the start. Your hearing is non repairable.