Location: Yorkshire and Humber
Location: South West England
Location: North West England
People going to Christmas parties where loud music will be played should wear earplugs, according to the charity Action on Hearing Loss.
The charity has warned that the level of noise in nightclubs, which can rise to between 110 and 120 decibels, can cause hearing damage through just 15 minutes of exposure. This is compared with the eight hours of safe exposure time for a sound at 85 decibels - such as a food processor.
Even this, it said, can be enough to trigger tinnitus, which affects around one in ten people. Of these, around ten per cent - about 600,000 - suffer from such severe symptoms that it has a significantly negative effect on their lives.
Senior audiologist at the charity Gemma Twitchen said: "We don’t want people to stop going to music events and parties - that’s not what this is about.
“There is a misconception that if you wear ear plugs you can’t hear or enjoy the music, but this is simply not true!
"Ear plugs will reduce the levels of dangerous sounds entering your ears, allowing you to listen to the music and enjoy it safely.”
The ear plug advice is just one of a number of tips the charity has produced aimed at ensuring people can enjoy festive parties without suffering damage to their hearing.
Another way of avoiding ear damage is to step outside the room regularly to give them a break from the loud music, while people should avoid standing too close to the speakers.
Chief executive of the British Tinnitus Association David Stockdale advised that another way to prevent ear damage is to stay hydrated. It can be easy not to do this, particularly when consuming beverages with diuretic elements such as caffeine and alcohol.
He noted that the problem with ear damage caused by loud noise is that this can be permanent, and will thus require intervention to help aid hearing for the rest of the sufferer's life.
Written by James Puckle
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