Could your favourite songs be helping to destroy your hearing?
MUSIC-LOVERS are being given the chance to find out whether the songs they enjoy are damaging their hearing.
Action on Hearing Loss is inviting people to test the volume of their personal music players and warn them of the dangers.
The charity is campaigning during Tinnitus Awareness Week, which begins today and runs until Sunday. Staff will be in Old Market Square from 2.30pm to 4pm tomorrow to offer help and advice.
Andrew Butler, 23, of Bishops Drive, Southwell, listens to music with headphones regularly.
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He said: "It seems like a really good idea. Lots of us love our music and are probably guilty of listening too loudly. It would be nice to know that you are listening to music safely and not damaging your hearing."
The charity's visit to Nottingham coincides with its research showing that 79 per cent of young people surveyed are unaware of new standards coming into force this month meaning that all new personal music players in the EU should have a safe maximum default volume of 85 decibels.
The study also showed that, although 70 per cent of those questioned would take steps to protect themselves against tinnitus, nearly 40 per cent would override the new default setting on their devices.
Chris Hunter, of Langdale Grove, Bingham, said: "I do listen loudly, and have never really thought about how damaging it could be to your ears, particularly in the long term. And particularly if you use headphones every day like I do."
The 23-year-old added: "It'd be good to hear what damage it is doing to you, as it's not something that is ever really mentioned."
Laurie Hare-Duke, 24, of Chaworth Road, West Bridgford, said: "I think I do know what level the music is supposed to be at but I do listen to music for several hours a day, so I am quite worried about my hearing."
The charity is calling on NHS commissioners to ensure that services which help people effectively manage their tinnitus are safeguarded.
Paul Breckell, chief executive of Action on Hearing Loss, said: "It's important that the new EU standards are implemented by all manufacturers. I urge music lovers in Nottingham to consider the long-term risks of overriding the safe setting, as overexposure to loud music can trigger tinnitus, and to resist the temptation, a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones can make all the difference."
For more information, visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/TAW