Adrian Utley visited Piccadilly Gardens to speak of his hearing problems and to warn others of the dangers of loud music

Adrian Utley visited Piccadilly Gardens to speak of his hearing problems and to warn others of the dangers of loud music

Beth Gibbons, left, Adrian Utley, center, and Geoff Barrow of the British band Portishead
Beth Gibbons, left, Adrian Utley, center, and Geoff Barrow of the British band Portishead

A musician has told how he suffered hearing loss because of loud music – as he launched a campaign to warn others of the dangers.

Adrian Utley, from British band Portishead, spoke of his hearing problems as he visited Piccadilly Gardens.

He revealed that he has mild hearing loss in both ears after years of listening to – and playing – loud music.

Now he wants to stop others from suffering the same fate and is backing a campaign being run by Action on Hearing Loss.

The charity is warning people of the dangers of tinnitus – ringing, whistling, humming or buzzing in the head or ears – which is often caused by  loud music.

Bosses want music lovers to test the volume of their personal music players and are backing new limited default settings being brought in.

But research by the charity shows many young people would override the limit.

Adrian, who spoke at the launch of National Tinnitus Awareness Week, said: “I love listening to and playing music, always have, and usually really loudly. I now have mild hearing loss in both ears and it is a complete drag – probably not as bad as tinnitus – but makes things difficult.  I wish I had known or even thought about the consequences of all the things I did like listening to music on headphones in noisy vans and cranking it up, playing loud guitar with really harsh sounds and no ear protection.

“It’s a good idea to get good ear plugs in loud situations like gigs whether you’re playing or listening – you’ll get used to them. And noise cancelling headphones are really good for listening to music when background noise is high, like in planes and trains etc.

Anybody who might be concerned about their hearing, can avail of a free hearing test at any Hidden Hearing branch nationwide. You can book a hearing test free of charge at any of Hidden Hearing’s 60 clinics nationwide. Freephone 1800 370 000 or visit www.hiddenhearing.ie.

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