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The Leightons Blog

Singer warns about the dangers of loud music

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Some things in life are best when experienced full blast or with added intensity.

Food tastes better when it has added flavour, many people enjoy driving cars at high speeds and for music lovers, it is often said that their favourite songs sound that bit better when the volume is cranked up to 11.

That may well be the case and, on occasions, it's fine to turn up your favourite song a touch but it's when you do this regularly that you could start to suffer from hearing loss.

Many of the people our team fit with digital hearing aids have suffered from the condition because of consistent exposure to loud noises such as music.

There are new European Union regulations coming in soon which will put a limit on how loud personal stereos can go and one man who is likely to have had his work turned up on iPods around the world is Portishead's Andrew Utley.

The lead singer of the Bristol-based group was speaking during Tinnitus Awareness Week, which took place over the past few days and he said music-lovers should try keep the noise down or risk damaging their hearing.

"I love listening to and playing music, always have, and usually really loudly. I now have mild hearing loss in both ears and it is a complete drag – probably not as bad as tinnitus – but makes things difficult," he said.

"I wish I had known or even thought about the consequences of all the things I did like listening to music on headphones in noisy vans and cranking it up, playing loud guitar with really harsh sounds and no ear protection."

It's not just personal stereos that you need to be aware of either. When it comes to live music, ensure you don't regularly stand near speakers or instruments and that you wear ear plugs.

It's not a case of being a killjoy, it's more to do with being safe and sensible while protecting your hearing.

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