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Warning about AC/DC sound levels

Media release – National Foundation for the Deaf
While fans soak up the second concert by rock legends AC/DC in Wellington this weekend, the National Foundation for the Deaf (NFD) warns fans it is important to protect their hearing.

The NFD says concert noise can be intense, and it is important fans and staff working at the venues are aware of the dangers of getting too close to speakers or overdosing on high volumes.

“The structures in the ear are delicate and once they are damaged they are usually damaged for good,” NFD General Manager Louise Carroll said today.

“In paying the price of a ticket to the concerts we need to be careful we don’t pay a permanent price in damaged hearing.

“As a minimum fans should take a pair of sponge ear plugs which they can use to take the edge off high volumes.

“We’ve had reports of people at previous concerts complaining of ringing in their ears afterwards – in some cases for months.”

Chris Peters, Advocacy Project Manager for the NFD, said society was generally noisier than in the past.

British research shows up to 90 percent of people visiting clubs and bars experience the symptoms of noise damage the next day – soapy hearing or ringing in the ears. Noise damage is also caused by wearing MP3 players, from high noise levels in gyms and from everyday activities such as using power tools around the home.

“Protecting your hearing is commonsense,” he said.

About one in 10 New Zealanders has some degree of hearing loss, with the loss in about 270,000 of them classified as significant and equating to a disability. Projections from the United States and Australia indicate that one in every four people will have a hearing loss by 2050.

Hearing loss costs the New Zealand economy about $1.8 billion a year, based on Australian research into the impact of hearing loss across the Tasman. To put this in perspective, this is more than the value of our total exports to the UK.