Just one visit to a bar or night club playing loud music could damage your hearing forever.
Noise levels recorded inside several night clubs and bars were between 85-100 decibels – well above the UK’s Health Executive recommended safe level of 84 decibels.
The World Health Organisation recently claimed that up to 1.1 billion 12 – to 35-year-olds are at risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss as a result of recreational noise exposure.
The readings were taken as part of Noise Action Week by The Tinnitus Clinic Ltd, the UK’s leading tinnitus treatment centre.Volumes were tested at various locations within each club and bar.
“Exposure levels recorded at some venues could potentially damage the hearing of anyone who was there for six hours,” said chief audiologist of The Tinnitus Clinic Ltd, Mark Williams. “In some cases permanent damage could occur after only two hours of exposure,” he added.
Noise Action Week, which runs until May 23, is a national campaign raising awareness of excessive noise in neighbourhoods and the impact it has on our health and wellbeing – including hearing damage that can result from recreational exposure.
Josephine Swinhoe, director of The Tinnitus Clinic Ltd, said: “We are not trying to stop anybody’s fun as we all enjoy going to bars and night clubs from time to time.
“However, we do think that people should be aware of the damage that they could do and to take some steps to protect themselves.
“For example we protect our skin with sun cream and our eyes with sunglasses and skateboarders protect their knees and heads and yet we do not pay the same attention to our hearing.”
Revellers can apply simple tests to see if they should take a break from the noise.
Firstly if you cannot hear someone who is a metre away and cannot be heard yourself this could be a sign of a damagingly loud environment.
Though staff employed in these venues are well educated on loud noise and their employers provide them with ear protection by law, there is currently no legislation to protect customers.
Further details on tinnitus and a full copy of the recreational noise report can be found on The Tinnitus Clinic website.
Noise Action Week is co-ordinated every year by Environmental Protection –
The Tinnitus Clinic