Music fans in Louth are being urged to turn down the volume of their mp3 players as part of the Tinnitus Awareness Week.
Specsavers Opticians and Hearing Centre in Louth has noticed an increase in the number of enquiries about ringing or buzzing in the ears from those who regularly listen to personal stereos, and is using this year’s Tinnitus Awareness Week (February 4 to 10) as a warning residents to turn the music down.
Store director Andrew Downes said: “Personal music players are one of the most damaging ways of listening to music because the noise is aimed directly at the eardrum.
“Playing music through headphones too loudly can lead to serious long-term repercussions such as tinnitus or the onset of hearing loss.
“Over the last five years I have noticed an increase in the number of younger people coming into store for hearing tests who complain about buzzing in their ears.
“This is a classic symptom of tinnitus and it’s concerning to see this incurable condition affecting more young people.”
Tinnitus affects up to 10 per cent of the population, seriously affecting the quality of life of one in every 100 people.
Its causes are not clear but it is often linked to regular exposure to loud noise, according to the British Tinnitus Association.
Noise levels exceeding 105 decibels can damage hearing if endured for more than 15 minutes.
Andrew added: “Our ears need to last us a lifetime so it is important that we look after them.
“Regularly exposing your ears to loud music – for example, more than a few hours a week – is likely to result in deterioration and this is irreversible once it starts.”
If you are worried about your hearing or experience a ringing in the ears, you can make a free appointment at Specsavers Hearcare Centre in Louth by calling 01507 351050.