WITH Electric Picnic kicking off this weekend, a leading audiologist from Specsavers is advising those attending to take adequate measures to protect their hearing from irreversible damage caused by excessive noise levels.  Exposure to 85 decibels (dB) or higher for a prolonged period can result in hearing loss and tinnitus, and concert sound levels can generate up to 120dB and beyond, posing a real threat to hearing health.

Noise-induced hearing loss occurs when tiny sensory hair cells in the inner ear are damaged by a loud sound.  The hair cells are unable to regenerate themselves so the damage is permanent.  Another common side-effect of excessive noise levels is tinnitus, an unpleasant condition in which a person experiences ringing in their ears.

Specsavers audiologist Orla Walsh says: ‘Although hearing loss is a natural part of the ageing process there are simple steps that people can take to protect their hearing from unnecessary and premature damage caused by dangerous decibel levels at festivals such as Electric Picnic. Our ears are highly sensitive and spending just 15 minutes at a concert is enough to cause permanent side-effects, so I would urge those attending Electric Picnic this weekend to protect their hearing. There are simple steps you can take to look after your hearing such as wearing earplugs, taking breaks from the music and standing away from the speakers. By doing this you will ensure that you can enjoy live music for years to come.’

Orla offers the following advice to safeguard your hearing while still enjoying the music:

The easiest and most effective solution is to invest in earplugs, which reduce the risk of developing tinnitus or other damage to your hearing.  Specsavers offers a range of discreet hearing protection that blocks excessive noise while still allowing you to hear the music clearly.
You can further protect your ears by being conscious of where you stand in the crowd.  Stand at least 10 feet or more away from speakers.
Take breaks in quieter areas to limit your time around noise.
Having your hearing checked should be part of your regular healthcare routine.
If you have concerns about your hearing following exposure to loud noises or loud music, you can visit your local Specsavers hearing centre for a free hearing check and advice from highly qualified audiologists.

For more information visit specsavers.ie/hearing.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Now editorial team. Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Sunday please call 074 9112712. Between 5pm and midnight please call or text 086 792 2103. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.