One night in a noisy bar could damage your hearing
Just one visit to a bar or night club playing loud music could damage your hearing forever, according to a report published this week.
Noise levels recorded inside several night clubs and bars were between 85-100 decibels – well above the UK’s Health Executive recommended safe level of 84 decibels.
The World Health Organisation recently said up to 1.1 billion 12 to 35-year-olds are at risk of developing noise induced hearing loss as a result of recreational noise exposure.
The readings were taken as part of Noise Action Week by The Tinnitus Clinic Ltd, a UK tinitus treatment centre. Volumes were tested at various locations within each club and bar.
“Exposure levels recorded at some venues could potentially damage the hearing of anyone who was there for six hours,” said chief audiologist of The Tinnitus Clinic Ltd, Mark Williams. “In some cases permanent damage could occur after only two hours of exposure,” he added.
Noise Action Week, which runs from 18 to 23rd of May, is a national campaign raising awareness of excessive noise in neighbourhoods and the impact it has on our health and well being – including hearing damage that can result from recreational exposure as well as the noise problems caused to neighbours by music escaping from venues.
Josephine Swinhoe, Director of The Tinnitus Clinic Ltd, said: “We are not trying to stop anybody’s fun as we all enjoy going to bars and night clubs from time to time. However we do think that people should be aware of the damage that they could do and to take some steps to protect their hearing – just as we protect our skin with suncream.”
The report says that revellers can apply simple tests to see if they should take a break from the noise. If you can’t hear someone who is a metre away and can’t be heard yourself, this could be a sign of a damagingly loud environment.
Though staff employed in these venues are well educated on loud noise and their employers provide them with ear protection by law, there is currently no legislation to protect customers.
Also, if noise in venues is really loud – it could cause problems for neighbours if sound insulation is inadequate.
Alan Bratt, Chair of the EPUK noise committee said “While people attending venues choose to expose themselves to loud noise – they must be made aware of the potential for hearing damage. If people living in the neighbourhood of venues are disturb by the noise – the chances are it has potential to damage the hearing of customers as well as disturb the sleep of neighbours. It is in everyone’s interest to ensure noise is kept to a safe volume – to ensure businesses and residents can be good neighbours.”
Further details on tinnitus and a full copy of the recreational noise report can be found on The Tinnitus Clinic website.
Read more about noise from venues in neighbourhoods
More from The Tinnitus Clinic: Denise Mubika, Public Relations Officer, +44(0)203-597-4988
More from EPUK: Mary Stevens, Noise Action Week co-ordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
Noise Action Week is co-ordinated every year by Environmental Protection UK