Earphone threat to hearing 

Rosbin Syed
Keeping an ear out for trouble: Rosbin Syed

A generation of young people in Brent risk permanently damaging their hearing though excessive use of ear and headphones.

Rosbin Syed. Lead Paediatric Audiologist at Central Middlesex Hospital, says the number of teenagers and young adults damaging their hearing through exposure to loud music has risen steadily in the past decade.

Rosbin said: “Loud music piped directly into your ears is the same decibel level as a jumbo jet taking off so it’s not hard to imagine what prolonged exposure to that sort of noise is going to do,

“The sort of hearing loss we are treating today would have largely seen in the over 50s ten or twenty years ago.

“It’s tragic really because by the time people come and see us the damage has already been done and we can only offer advise on how to prevent further hearing loss.”

One of the commonest problems is tinnitus where those affected suffer a constant ringing sound in their ears. The condition is common among musicians but advances in amplification is seeing everyday headphone wearers suffering exposure to the same excessive noise levels

Some research shows that over half (53.4%) of people aged 18 to 24 have experienced tinnitus, with 40% of people unaware that being exposed to loud noise can lead to permanent tinnitus. In nightclubs or concerts, noise levels can exceed 100dB meaning you can only safely listen to music for 15 minutes without wearing ear plugs which reduce sound by 15-20dB taking it under 85dB level.