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Tinnitus Awareness Week: Tea for Tinnitus

It's Tinnitus Awareness Week 4-10 February 2019. You can help by taking part in Tea for Tinnitus and increase awareness of this debilitating condition.

It's Tinnitus Awareness Week (4-10 February 2019). To support the campaign and people afflicted with this chronic condition, you can help by taking part in The British Tinnitus Association fundraising event Tea for Tinnitus. It couldn’t be simpler; just put the kettle on and hold a tea party for your friends, family and/or work colleagues in return of a donation.

In the UK, it is estimated that around ten per cent of adults live with Tinnitus (British Tinnitus Association). Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing a constant buzzing in the ears when there is no external noise. The most common cause is loss of the tiny sensory hair cells in the inner ear occurring as people age, from head & neck trauma, or as the result of prolonged exposure to excessively loud noise. Many people are familiar with ringing ears after a concert or sporting event, but even if the symptoms go away, permanent ear damage may already be taking place.

Constant loud noise is an unavoidable occupational hazard in certain professions; DJs are particularly prone to developing it due to the number of years spent listening to loud music over uninterrupted hours, night after night. Average nightclub noise levels can range from 100 to 115 (decibels) dB1. Construction workers also experience high noise levels from hammer drills at around 120 dB and even Formula One drivers encounter extreme noise levels ranging between 135-140 dB2.

It is vital that people protect their hearing by having reagular breaks from loud noise, using dB reducing ear plugs or headphones, and getting their hearing checked out.

Employers should be aware of The Control of Noise at Work Regulations Act 2005:

  • If there is a daily or weekly average noise exposure level of 80 decibels, then employers must provide information and training and make hearing protection available.
  • If daily / weekly average noise reaches 85 decibels, then the employer is required to take reasonably practicable measures to reduce noise exposure. The use of hearing protection is mandatory if the noise cannot be controlled or whilst the steps are being taken to reduce the noise levels.
  • If the exposure limit is 87 dB above which no worker can be exposed.
  • Employers need to identify hearing protection zones (areas where the use of hearing protection is compulsory and mark the area with warning signs).
  • Ensure that hearing protectors are regularly inspected and maintained.
  • Ensure that all employees are fully trained on the use and care of the hearing protectors3.

Page & Page's resident DJs Paul TJ and Paul Hunt supporting Tea for Tinnitus.
References:
1 Golden, E. (2012) ‘Tinnitus: A Real Problem for Every DJ’, DJ Tech Tools, [online]. Available at:  https://djtechtools.com/2012/05/20/tinnitus-a-real-problem-for-every-dj/. (Accessed 30.1.19).
2 Mitchell, D ‘Construction workers amongst the noisiest occupations in the UK’, Frontline Safety, [online]. Available at: https://www.frontline-safety.co.uk/blog/construction-worker-amongst-the-noisiest-occupations-in-the-uk/. (Accessed 30.1.19).
3 (2016) ‘Tinnitus Awareness in the Construction Industry’, UK Construction Online, [online]. Available at: https://www.ukconstructionmedia.co.uk/news/tinnitus-awareness-in-the-construction-industry/. (Accessed 30.1.19).

4th February 2019

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