A local hearing expert is warning Southport and Formby residents and music lovers that they are putting their hearing at risk every day by listening to music through headphones at too high a volume, following this year’s British Tinnitus Association Awareness Week (2-8 February).
Rise in enquiries from younger generation
Staff at Specsavers Hearing Centres have seen a recent increase in the number of enquiries about ringing or buzzing in the ears from younger people, who regularly listen to music on their phones.
The team at Specsavers on Eastbank Street in Southport and Halsall Lane in Formby are now using this year’s British Tinnitus Association Awareness to advise locals of all ages to turn the volume down.
Hearing director at Specsavers Southport, Catherine Kimball, said: ‘We are a nation of music lovers so it makes no sense that we would put our ability to enjoy our favourite songs at risk.
Damaging our hearing
‘Listening to music through earphones is potentially damaging because the sound is aimed directly at the eardrum. Turning up the volume too high can cause serious long-term repercussions such as tinnitus or hearing loss.
‘We have certainly noticed an increase in the number of younger people coming into our stores for hearing tests who complain about buzzing in their ears. This is a classic symptom of tinnitus and it’s concerning to see this incurable condition affecting more young people.’
Significant number affected by Tinnitus
Around 6.3 million people are affected by Tinnitus, 10 per cent of the UK population, seriously affecting the quality of life of one in every 100 people. Although its causes are not clear, it is often linked to regular exposure to loud noise.* Noise levels exceeding 105 decibels can damage hearing if endured for more than 15 minutes.
Catherine added: ‘Following Tinnitus Awareness Week, we want you to listen to your favourite artists at a sensible volume. Regularly exposing your ears to loud music for more than a few hours a week is likely to result in deterioration and this is irreversible once it starts.
‘A classic symptom of tinnitus is buzzing in the ears, just one of the reasons behind the increase in the number of young people coming in for hearing tests.
‘Remember our ears need to last us a lifetime so it is important that we look after them.’
If you are worried about your hearing or experience a ringing in the ears, you can make a free appointment at Specsavers Hearcare Centre in Southport by calling 01704 501944.
If you are over 55, you can also access free NHS hearing services through your local Specsavers. Visit your GP and request to be referred to your local centre.
*British Tinnitus Association.