Campaign muffles loud music

Tinnitus sufferer Daniel Lalor is all too familiar with the effects a noisy nightclub can have.
Tinnitus sufferer Daniel Lalor is all too familiar with the effects a noisy nightclub can have. Stewart Gould

COMING home from a loud nightclub or live concert with your ears ringing is an experience plenty of Ipswich residents would have experienced.

But when Daniel Lalor, 23, returned home from a night out last year only for the ringing in his ears to continue for days and then weeks, he knew something was not right.

A visit to an audiologist confirmed he had tinnitus, and now the Ipswich University of Queensland graduate is trying to get in everyone’s ear about how they can protect their hearing.

While hearing loss is not regularly discussed, Mr Lalor has started the Music To My Ears Campaign to inform people about how they can look after their ears.

“Hearing damage from exposure to loud music is Gen Y’s equivalent to smoking, and asbestos of generations past. There just doesn’t seem to be the awareness surrounding it, or anyone talking about it, but once it’s gone, it’s gone,” Mr Lalor said.

He said that clubs with noise levels of over 100dB and MP3 players such as iPods turned up to full volume can lead to permanent damage after only 15 minutes.

“I think people my age would be very surprised to discover how easily and how quickly permanent hearing damage can occur.”

But the former Ipswich Grammar School student and Woodend resident said there were some simple steps that could be taken to protect hearing.

“Ear plugs are effective and they don’t have to impact the quality of your hearing – custom-fitted ones done by audiologists don’t affect sound quality, they only lower the volume,” he said.

“They can be discrete and skin-coloured as well. We’re also trying to get clubs and venues to offer ear plugs at their doors.

“With MP3 players, it’s about making sure the volume is at a safe level.”

Mr Lalor knows a thing or two about headphones thanks to his job at the Springfield University of Southern Queensland’s Phoenix Radio.

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