My name is Amanda, I am 25 years old and I have suffered with tinnitus for 8 years.
Listening to loud music at gigs and festivals and playing my iPod very loudly from a young age has permanently caused ringing in my ears. I hear a constant screeching sound in my ears, which is particularly noticeable when I try to sleep. It doesn’t affect my life too badly, but it certainly is annoying.
The British Tinnitus Association describes tinnitus as “the sensation of hearing a sound in the absence of any external sound.” Different people hear different sounds with tinnitus, for example ringing, screeching, buzzing, whooshing, droning or humming. These sounds can be continuous or they can come and go.
Thankfully, mine is in the latter.
Tinnitus can be caused by numerous things, such as a common cold, ear infections or other underlying conditions. However, the most common reason people get tinnitus is by exposure to extremely loud music or sounds.
If I had known to #Plug’em when I was younger, I could have protected my ears from tinnitus by wearing ear plugs or taking precautions. But I wasn’t aware of what tinnitus was, or the lasting affects it could have on my hearing when I was a teenager. I went to numerous gigs, having no idea that I would be at risk of getting this condition. Tinnitus needs to become more widely known about and talked about, especially to younger people who don’t know what tinnitus is or the damage it can cause. Once the damage is done, it’s done. There’s no cure for it, though it can get better as time goes on.
Yeah, wearing ear plugs isn’t particularly cool. And the music quality just isn’t the same with them in either. But is it worth it to protect your ears from tinnitus? As a long term sufferer of the condition, I certainly think it is.
Here’s what you can do, as a music lover, to prevent tinnitus:
- Most of us love to listen to Spotify or Apple Music, especially on that commute to work, or just taking some ‘me time’. Think of the volume; turn it down to a safe level. 85 decibels is the max safe listening volume. 2 hours of highest volume on your iPod can start the damage.
- Don’t go near the speakers at a gig, or make sure you wear ear plugs. They are as cheap as £1.
- Drink water when attending a gig, it will help prevent tinnitus. Your ears will be grateful the morning after, as well as your head!
Tinnitus prevention shouldn’t stop you doing amazing things, like going to a music festival, or playing music on your iPod. It’s just about knowing what the limits are.
After all, you want to @LikeWhatYouEar.
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