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One night out could damage your hearing

  May 14, 2015

Just one visit to a bar or night club playing loud music could damage your hearing forever writes Mark Williams of The Tinnitus Clinic.

Noise levels recorded inside several night clubs and bars were between 85-100 decibels - well above with the UK's Health Executive recommended safe level of 84 decibels. The readings were taken as part of Noise Action Week by The Tinnitus Clinic.

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.

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, Mark Williams. "In some cases permanent damage could occur after only two hours of exposure," he added.

Noise Action Week, which ran from 18 to 23 May 2015, is a national campaign to raise awareness around hearing loss and the impact of recreational noise 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."

The report says that 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 meter 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 here.

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