This British Tinnitus Association Awareness Week (8th – 14th February), audiology experts in St Helens are urging residents of all ages to turn the volume down.
Specsavers Opticians and Hearing Centre in St Helens are warning locals that they are putting their hearing at risk every day by listening to music through headphones at too high a volume.
Increase in buzzing in ears among young people
Specsavers is backing the awareness week campaign after seeing 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.
Zoe Wheddon, lead audiologist at Specsavers Audiologists in St Helens says: ‘Tinnitus is an extremely common problem which affects 10 per cent of UK adults*. As a nation of music lovers, we are spending more and more time listening to our favourite bands through headphones, or going to gigs where the noise level is very loud.
‘Over-exposure to loud volume can seriously affect our hearing and may result in tinnitus or noise-induced hearing loss. It’s important to remember to take regular breaks when listening to loud music, as well as considering turning down the volume. Noise levels exceeding 105 decibels can damage your hearing if endured for more than 15 minutes. Many smartphones now have a handy noise indicator which identifies when the volume has reached a high level.’
Regular exposure to loud music can affect ear health
Zoe adds that regularly exposing your ears to loud music for more than a few hours a week is likely to result in deterioration which could be irreversible once it starts.
Zoe says: ‘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.’
Book a hearing test
If you’re worried about your hearing you can book a hearing test at Specsavers in St Helens on 01744 453665. The Specsavers Hearing Check App is also free to download on the App and Play store on iOS or Android devices, and advises whether a full check in store is recommended.