Can audio be bad for your health?

By Laura E Cox

Ever woken up after a night out at a noisy club or gig with a high-pitched ringing sound in your ears?

It might not be just an intense hang-over, the Royal National Institute for the Deaf warns, it could be the onset of permanent hearing damage.

In today’s Metro, James Day, editor of Body Matters published a double-page spread dedicated to the promotion of the condition, which is frequently misconceived to affect only the elderly.

He writes:

Almost 5 million adults in Britain have experienced tinnitus, which as been linked to severe depression and even suicide

How worried should we be?

The advice from RNID, released as part of their Don’t Lose The Music campaign is to avoid long exposure to noise over 85 decibels.

And what do pneumatic drills and music at gigs and night clubs have in common? They both regularly reach 110 decibels.

The Metro article case studies Sonny Miller, a 22-year-old politics graduate from London. He has suffered from tinnitus for the past year, since going to a dance club.

Sonny says: ‘I look back now and I feel like kicking myself. All of this could have been avoided.’

So what can you do?

  • If you’re going to a particularly noisy club or gig, invest in a pair of ear plugs – they often can’t be seen and do not distort sound
  • Don’t stand right next to speakers
  • Try to keep music in headphones at a low volume – perhaps try phones that sit on the ear, rather than plug shaped ones which go inside the ear
  • Take regular breaks from long bouts of loud music

Emma Harrison, director of RNID, says: ‘Listening to music is important to us all but it’s also important what we don’t damage our hearing in the process.

‘Make sure you love your ears so you can enjoy music forever.’

Check out the campaign’s Facebook app and check the health of your ears without visiting a doctor.

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About Laura

Small fish in a big pond, trying to accept life on life's terms 'You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore' - Christopher Columbus
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