Portishead star Adrian Utley is hoping the people of Leeds will listen to warnings about tinnitus.
The musician, who suffers from hearing problems, is backing a campaign during Tinnitus Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday. (Feb 10)
Tinnitus is ringing or whistling in the head or ear, caused by over exposure to loud music.
Throughout the week, Action on Hearing Loss volunteers have been testing the sound levels of Leeds shoppers’ personal music players with a bright pink sound head to see if they are listening at safe volumes.
Adrian said: “I love listening to and playing music, usually really loudly.
“I now have mild hearing loss in both ears and it is a complete drag.
“I wish I had known or even thought about the consequences of listening to music on headphones in noisy vans and cranking it up, playing loud guitar with really harsh sounds and no ear protection.
“Be careful because when your hearing’s gone – it’s gone.”
New research by the charity shows that 79 per cent of young people are unaware of new standards coming into force this month meaning that all new personal music players in the EU should have a safe maximum default volume of 85 decibels.
The study also showed that although 70 per cent of survey respondents would take steps to protect themselves against tinnitus, nearly 40 per cent would override the new default setting on their music devices.
Paul Breckell, chief executive of Action on Hearing Loss, said: “I urge music lovers to consider the long term risks of overriding the setting as over exposure to loud music can trigger tinnitus.
“Remember that a good pair of noise cancelling headphones can make all the difference.”
For more information, log on to: www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk