After years spent wearing headphones and DJing in clubs, broadcaster Jo Whiley has revealed that her career has taken its toll on her hearing – she suffers from tinnitus. 

Voice of reason

Jo is the latest celebrity to lend her support to the Specsavers Audiologists Listen Up! campaign to encourage regular hearing checks.

Speaking about her condition, Jo said: ‘My tinnitus tends to flare up if I’ve been at a gig, DJing at a club, or wearing headphones for long periods of time which is frustrating as I love live music. It can affect me for days afterwards and I have a constant whistle in my ears which can be hard to live with.

Encouraging parents to be aware

Mum-of-four Jo, whose music executive husband also has the same hearing issue continued: ‘Steve has also been diagnosed with hearing loss and I am constantly nagging my son who plays the drums to wear hearing protection. I don’t want him to go down the same route as Steve and I, and I worry that noise-induced hearing problems are only going to get worse.

'We’re all guilty of notching up the volume on our headphones or at home but people don’t realise the damage this is doing.’

Expert advice

Gordon Harrison, Specsavers’ chief audiologist, said: ‘Jo is lucky that her hearing hasn’t suffered more than it has. For someone working in her profession, I’d have expected to see more noise-induced hearing damage.

‘Although most smartphones and headphones now include volume limiters, people often ignore this and continue to put their hearing at risk. It only takes one instance of overexposure to cause permanent damage so it’s always best to protect your hearing before you lose it.’

Gordon continued: ‘Regular hearing checks should be an important part of the healthcare routine for anyone over the age of 55. Aside from identifying any hearing loss, these checks also give us an insight into the overall condition of a person’s hearing heath, so even if you don’t think there’s a problem, it’ always better to get checked.’ 

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