Action on Hearing Loss, the UK’s largest hearing loss charity, is warning the thousands of young people who are planning to attend summer concerts at Custom House Square and Belfast Vital in August to protect their hearing or risk losing it forever.
Volunteers from the charity will be on hand at all the gigs to give away earplugs and provide advice on how to enjoy the music safely.
The action is part of the ‘Don’t Lose the Music’ hearing health campaign which is supported by the Public Health Agency.
Hearing loss and tinnitus are common among musicians, with stars such as Chris Martin, Roger Daltrey and Liam Gallagher publicly talking about their experiences. However, many music fans aren’t aware that over-exposure to loud levels of noise for prolonged periods can cause permanent hearing loss and/or tinnitus. A live gig, which can be as loud as 110 decibels, is safe to listen to for just two minutes. But by simply wearing a pair of earplugs, music lovers can listen safely for much longer.
Jackie White, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Northern Ireland, said: “We’re so excited to have this unique opportunity to reach out to the public. We are hoping to spread the message through social media, using our #dontlosethemusic hashtag. We’ve got lots of fun photo props for fans to use, as well as ponchos in case it rains, and of course free earplugs to encourage everyone to protect their hearing. Thank you to our amazing volunteers who have been vital in this campaign and to the Public Health Agency who are supporting us.”
Action on Hearing Loss is encouraging fans to wear earplugs as they take off 15-20 decibels on average, which brings the volume down to a safer level. The charity’s other top tips include standing away from the speakers, taking a five minute break every hour and staying hydrated, as dehydration and alcohol can make the hair cells in your inner ear more vulnerable to damage.
For more information about the #dontlosethemusic campaign, visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/dont-lose-the-music, follow the charity on Facebook, Twitter (@hearinglossNI) or Instagram (Action on Hearing Loss_NI), or message Action on Hearing Loss Northern Ireland on Facebook to take part in a music quiz.