Our award winning Don’t Lose the Music campaign, supported by the Public Health Agency, aims to raise awareness of the risks of loud music and encourage young people to protect their hearing.
This summer, our volunteers are attending 23 concerts, giving away free earplugs at Belsonic, CHSq and Belfast Vital.
We’ll also have rainproof ponchos, wristbands and popsockets available for a suggested donation.
Why you should wear earplugs
Approximately four million young people are at risk of hearing damage because of over amplified music. Music at a live gig can be up to 110 decibels, which is only safe to listen to for two minutes! The longer you listen, and the more frequently, the higher the risk of developing permanent hearing loss or tinnitus.
Usually, tinnitus has little effect on a person’s daily life and is only mildly annoying. However, when experienced more severely, tinnitus can have a significant impact on a person’s mental and physical health, affecting sleep and concentration, and causing stress and anxiety.
What you can do to protect your hearing
- Wear earplugs – earplugs reduce the decibel levels which makes for safer listening. They’re the only thing that can protect you
- Don’t stand near speakers
- Give your ears a break from loud music for at least five minutes every hour
- Stay hydrated – dehydration can make the hair cells in your inner ear more vulnerable to damage, as can alcohol
- If it’s uncomfortably loud or painful, leave.
What to do if you have tinnitus or hearing loss
If you experience tinnitus after a noisy event, you may find that it disappears after a few days. If the tinnitus persists and is bothering you, the first step is to see your GP.
You can also contact Action on Hearing Loss for support. Our Tinnitus Support Service in Northern Ireland provides one to one support and information about causes of tinnitus and how you can manage it.
There are lots of ways to manage tinnitus to prevent it having a serious impact on your daily life, such as relaxation exercises, mindfulness and sound therapy. Find out more about tinnitus treatments.
“You don’t have to stop your love of music in order to protect yourself. It’s a good idea to get good ear plugs in loud situations like gigs whether you’re playing or listening – the modern ones are quite comfortable and don’t ruin the listening experience as some people think” – Gemma Twitchen, Senior Audiologist at Action on Hearing Loss.