Charity highlights danger of hearing damage from music headphones

Fri, 08/02/2013 - 11:21 -- Editor

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan is backing a charity’s campaign calling for people to be aware of the risk of tinnitus from listening to personal music players at too high a volume for too long.

Supporting the charity Action on Hearing Loss during Tinnitus Awareness Week at Westminster (4-10 February 2013), Mark Durkan gained a better understanding of tinnitus by hearing a series of simulations recreating the unpleasant ringing, whistling, humming or buzzing sounds which people say represents their experiences of the condition in their head or ears.

The Foyle MP also checked the volume at which they listen to their personal music player by having its sound level tested on Action on Hearing Loss’s Sound Head. All new personal music players in the EU will have a safe default volume of 85 decibels from this month onwards and the charity is encouraging people not to the override the setting.

Mr Durkan said: “I discovered that around 10% of adults have mild tinnitus which can have debilitating effects on sleep, personal relationships, work, and lead to depression. With that in mind, it’s important that music lovers in Derry and across the North reduce the risk of developing the condition by listening to their music players at safe sound levels.”

Chief Executive of Action on Hearing Loss, Paul Breckell, said: “As tinnitus is an invisible condition its distressing effects are often not recognised, or underestimated by friends and family. We are grateful for Mark Durkan’s support for our campaigning during Tinnitus Awareness Week and highlighting the need for people in Derry to protect their hearing and have access to essential information and support if they develop this distressing condition.”

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