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Avoid a Permanent Hearing Hangover These Holidays

New Zealand Audiological Society
22 December 2010

Avoid a Permanent Hearing Hangover These Holidays

The country’s hearing care profession is making a plea to Kiwis to take steps to avoid a permanent hearing hangover during festive season celebrations.

“The summer beach circuit of concerts, bands and festivals and New Year’s celebrations mean now is the time to prepare yourself so you won’t be left with any long lasting side effects of hearing loss,” says Peter Stubbing, President of the New Zealand Audiological Society.

“Many outdoor live concerts can generate levels of sound averaging 108 decibels. This is as loud as a jet engine and amounts to our ears receiving levels equating to 50 to 80 times our recommended daily dose for just a 3 to 4 hour concert.

“We want people to have fun and protect their hearing at the same time.

“Night clubs can reach noise levels of 102 decibels or more. If you stay there for up to two hours you will be exceeding the safe levels by up to 12 times. Spare a thought for those staff working in these clubs,” says Mr Stubbing.

Even a five hour visit to a pub with a live band can have the same effect as working in a noisy workplace for nearly two weeks. Fireworks displays also have the potential to cause long lasting damage.

Having fun and good times and avoiding a hearing hang over is easy:
•take some ear plugs with you. Even disposable plugs will reduce the levels your ear is exposed to without missing out on the fun!
•rest your ears - have some ‘time out’ from extreme noise situations to rest your ears.

•Try and limit the duration of exposure if possible as well and reducing the loudness of the music. Even turning down the volume of your stereo/ipod by 3 decibels (this may be one or two clicks on your MP3 player depending on your system) means the sound level is halved.

“It doesn’t take much to rest and protect your ears, and have a great time. We urge people to take steps this summer so they avoid long lasting damage to their hearing,” says Mr Stubbing.

The New Zealand Audiological Society is the professional organisation representing qualified Audiologists and audiology in New Zealand.


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