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A new EU study has found that people with personal MP3s or CD players could suffer permanent hearing loss.

If you are planning to write about this issue, we can offer the following:

* Results of a survey of 4,000 consumers conducted by David Ormerod Hearing Centres about MP3 usage and impact on hearing (summary below)

* Comment/case study from Status Quo musician Jeff Rich who has impaired hearing after years of exposure to extremely loud rock music

* Tips from Heather Pitchford, an audiologist at David Ormerod Hearing Centres about how to reduce the dangers of MP3 usage

A brief summary is pasted below.

Statistics:

1) 58% have experienced a ringing sound in their ears after a night out, listening to loud music - which is a sign of hearing damage

2) 57% have been disturbed by someone else's music on their MP3 player/iPod

3) 39% would turn up their MP3 player/iPod if they couldn't hear it properly due to background noise

4) 26% would turn up their MP3 player/iPod as loud as possible

5) Only half of us consider hearing when setting the volume.

Advice

Heather Pitchford, an audiologist at David Ormerod Hearing Centres offers the following advice:

1) Don't listen to music at full volume

2) Buy in-ear filter headphones that cancel out background noise so you don't have to turn up the volume too high on your MP3

3) Don't listen to music through headphones for more than an hour at a time

4) Rest your ears for as long as possible before listening to your music


Status Quo drummer, Jeff Rich, Case study summary:

Years of exposure to extremely loud rock music has resulted in Jeff, now 54 years-of-age, suffering from impaired hearing. He now has about 50% hearing loss in his left ear and 30% hearing loss in his right ear. This impairment made life very difficult, particularly with his new business giving drumming and percussion classes at schools. (See http://www.jeffrich.co.uk)

Jeff said: "We used to have huge speakers pumping out the music to the crowd so I'd need the drums playing really loudly on a separate speaker. I had 4,500 watts blearing into my ears almost every night, which inevitably took its toll. We eventually got in-the-ear monitors, which I think helped prevent my hearing from deteriorating further but by then it was too late."

For further information, please contact Michelle Eastty or David Greenwood on 01903 821550 or email meastty@pegasuspr.co.uk



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